Neonatal and pediatric critical care: ethical decision making

Crit Care Clin. 1996 Jan;12(1):149-64. doi: 10.1016/s0749-0704(05)70221-9.


The current standards for surrogate decision making for children are analyzed in this article. A number of potential pitfalls are involved with this issue, including questions about the child's maturity and competence. The present approach for medical decision making for noncompetent children is the "best interest" standard. In many medical decisions, the "best interest" standard is not applicable and a "rational parent" standard is presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Care* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Decision Making
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Legal Guardians
  • Minors
  • Parental Consent
  • Paternalism
  • Pediatrics* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Social Values
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement
  • United States