Ethical problems in pediatric critical care: Consent

Christine A. Zawistowski*, Joel E. Frader

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Informed consent constitutes one of the important considerations included in the myriad ethical dilemmas in the pediatric intensive care unit. Traditionally, the law has viewed children as incompetent to make medical decisions, and society has authorized parents or guardians to act on behalf of children. Empirical evidence has revealed that children may be more capable of participating in their medical decisions than previously thought. Some scholars now think that parents have the right to give informed permission and that professionals should seek the child's assent in many circumstances. Physicians in the intensive care unit should seriously consider consulting adolescent patients about the direction of their care and may wish to seek the input of younger patients in appropriate circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S407-S410
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Consent
  • Critical care
  • Ethics
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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