IPPC Logo The Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care
IPPC Background & Goals
IPPC Curriulum
IPPC Videos
IPPC Quality Improvement Tools
IPPC Participating Hospitals
IPPC Funders
About CAEPP (Center for Applied Ethics & Professional Practice
Contact IPPC
IPPC Site Map
IPPC Curriculum: Module 1 IPPC Curriculum: Module 2 IPPC Curriculum: Module 3 IPPC Curriculum: Module 4 IPPC Curriculum: Module 5 IPPC Curriculum: Module 6

Module 3: Analyzing Ethical Challenges in Pediatric
End-of-life Decision Making

An Ethical and Legal Framework for Caring for Children with Life-Threatening Conditions


 Facilitators Guide   PowerPoint 

This lecture and PowerPoint presentation provides a broad aerial view of national ethical and legal guidelines pertaining to decisions about medical use of life-sustaining technologies in pediatrics. It introduces many topics handled in greater depth in the subsequent small group seminars that make up the remainder of this module.

Learning Objectives

As a consequence of attending this lecture, participants will:

  • Recognize that in pediatrics, decisions about medical use of life-sustaining treatment must be based on the “best interest” of the child.
  • Acknowledge that caring individuals may differ in their assessment of what is in the child’s best interest, because such assessments are not simply matters of fact, but opinions based on personal and cultural values.
  • Recognize that all life-sustaining medical technologies, including medically provided nutrition and hydration, should be assessed in terms of the likely benefits and burdens they will bring to the child.
  • Acknowledge need to honor parental values and preferences, even if they differ from one’s own, when benefits of a proposed treatment are marginal or uncertain.
  • Identify the role that ethics consultation can play in resolving conflicts.
  • Seek to engage children and adolescents in their treatment and decision making to the extent possible, given their developmental capacities.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to providing effective relief of pain and discomfort.

[Go to Activity 2]
[Go to Activity 3]
[Go to Activity 4]
[Go to Activity 5]