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Towards Avoiding Conflict in Difficult Care Management Decisions: understanding the causes of local disputes in paediatric medicine in order to develop pathways to dispute resolution in NHS Grampian

People Involved

Project Description

Cases such as Charlie Gard’s placed disagreement between the family of an infant with a life-limiting condition and his doctors in the public spotlight. While the Gard case unfolded in the English courts, it can be only a matter of time before a case of this type arises in Scotland, where there is no legal precedent to date to rely on. To give a descriptive baseline for the study we will identify the incidence of such disputes and the methods used to resolve them. We will also use interviews with families and clinicians to explore their understanding of, and views on the resolution of such disputes. We will investigate the value they perceive is derived from seeking resolution, and which methods they perceive as most valuable. Based on these findings, we will develop a toolkit to guide people in such situations to understand the nature of the dispute, and potentially beneficial pathways to resolution. The aim will be to demystify paediatric end-of-life decision-making, and familiarise those involved with the available options, that can be effective in the absence of any court-mandated dispute resolution framework. This research is collaborative, combining the expertise of academics specialising in dispute resolution, medical law and applied health research. The study will draw on case histories, the experiences of families and clinicians in the care of such infants and their families. It will use evidence-based solutions in order to develop best practice in this area. It therefore fits well with the work of the Justice stream.

Status Project Live
Funder(s) NHS Grampian Endowment Fund
Value £12,000.00
Project Dates Apr 18, 2022 - Mar 31, 2023

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