Guidance on withholding and withdrawing treatment of sick children to be updated

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 24 April 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2643
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is reviewing its guidance on withholding and withdrawing medical treatment of sick children, amid continuing controversy over a national newspaper story alleging that some sick children have been placed on the Liverpool care pathway.

Simon Newell, the college’s vice president for training and assessment, told the BMJ that he did not expect any radical changes to its existing guidance, which was published in 2004 so is due for updating,1 when it is published in the next few months. But he admitted that the publication is timely, with the Liverpool care pathway and euthanasia having featured recently in the national press.

In November 2012 the Daily Mail ran a front page story entitled, “Now sick babies go on death pathway,” as part of its campaign to expose alleged misuse of the Liverpool care pathway. The story claimed that NHS hospitals were discharging …

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