CRITICAL-CARE DECISIONS ON NEONATES AND YOUNG CHILDREN IN ENGLAND AND WALES – LESSONS FOR SOUTH AFRICA
Keywords:neonate, critical-care decisions, withholding or withdrawal of treatment, neonatal intensive care, best-interests standard
In this article it will be pointed out that in South Africa there are currently insufficient measures in place to protect the child patient, especially the neonate. A perusal of the case law of England and Wales reveals that in a number of cases on critical-care decisions the courts have used their opportunities to lay down criteria on issues such as the withholding or withdrawal of treatment in neonatal intensive care. These cases and the principles laid down in them may serve as precedents for South African case law. The English and Welsh courts have also provided guidelines on the interpretation of the best-interests standard in critical-care decisions. Guidelines on critical-care decisions were drafted by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, as well as the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. South Africa lacks such
comprehensive guidelines on critical-care decisions concerning children. It is suggested that a comprehensive set of guidelines be drafted specifically for the unique South African position.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.