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Dominic Wilkinson from the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities and the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics has led a UK ethical framework for treatment decisions in acute paediatric settings during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Professor Wilkinson produced the framework along with RCPCH Clinical Lead, Dr Mike Linney, Chair of RCPCH Ethics and Law Committee.

"This ethical framework is a modification of guidance developed for treatment decisions relating to adults. The principles relating to decisions for children in the setting of the pandemic are the same as those for adults. The framework emphasises that decisions should be ethically consistent and apply to patients both with COVID-related and non-COVID related illness.

The focus of the ethical framework provides guidance for a situation where there is extremely high demand and limited critical care capacity. However, it is important to note that at the time of writing (14 April 2020) there is enough paediatric critical care capacity across the UK. At the present time decisions about children in need of critical care should reflect the same fundamental ethical considerations as apply in normal times. Those decisions should be focused on the best interests of the child, and actively involve parents in decision-making.

Read The framework in full on the Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health website

Learn more about Dominic Wilkinson

Learn more about Mike Linney

 

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Photo by Sarah Holcomb on Unsplash