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Advance Care Planning: practicalities, legalities, complexities and controversies
  1. Karen A Horridge
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen A Horridge, Paediatric Disability Department, Sunderland Royal Hospital, Kayll Rd, Sunderland SR4 7TP, UK; karen.horridge{at}


Increasing numbers, complexities and technology dependencies of children and young people with life-limiting conditions require paediatricians to be well prepared to meet their changing needs. Paediatric Advance Care Planning provides a framework for paediatricians, families and their multidisciplinary teams to consider, reflect and record the outcome of their conversations about what might happen in the future in order to optimise quality of clinical care and inform decision-making. For some children and young people this will include discussions about the possibility of death in childhood. This may be unexpected and sudden, in the context of an otherwise active management plan or may be expected and necessitate discussions about the process of dying and attention to symptoms. Decision-making about appropriate levels of intervention must take place within a legal and ethical framework, recognising that the UK Equality Act (2010) protects the rights of disabled children and young people and infants and children of all ages to the same high quality healthcare as anyone else.

  • Children's Rights
  • Ethics
  • Neurodisability
  • Palliative Care
  • Paediatric Practice
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