Legal and ethical issues in neonatal nursing: a case study
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice    

Legal and ethical issues in neonatal nursing: a case study

Victoria Hagger Nursing student, Coventry University, Coventry, England.
Catherine Ellis Senior lecturer in nursing, Coventry University, Coventry, England.
Laura Strumidlo Senior lecturer, end of life care and adult nursing, Coventry University, Coventry, England.

Neonatal nurses regularly face complex legal and ethical dilemmas. This article discusses the hypothetical case of Jack, a two-day-old infant diagnosed with trisomy 13 syndrome, a life-limiting condition. Jack’s prognosis is poor, and he is not expected to live past two weeks of age. The legal and ethical perspectives of withholding life-sustaining treatment in infants and children will be explored through the application of ethical frameworks, as well as statute and case law relevant to children and adolescent nursing. The article also discusses the neonatal nurse’s role, with reference to local and national guidelines.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2016.e10343


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 12 November 2015

Accepted: 29 January 2016

Published online: 22 June 2016

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