Many of the decisions we make are fairly straightforward. For example a baby with simple TGA will require an arterial switch operation or will die. But there are other circumstances when making a decision in the best interests of a patient is extremely difficult - for example whether or not to list a child with severe neurological issues.
- Conflict between adolescents and their parents regarding treatment
- Conflict between family and doctors regarding treatment
- Conflict within a healthcare team
- Decisions surrounding palliative care and end of life
- Assessment of quality of life
- Best use of limited healthcare resources - for example donor organs, intensive care facilities, financial (hospital, government)
In these circumstances applying an ethical framework to the decision making process can be very helpful.