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The University of Southampton
Clinical Ethics and Law at Southampton

Clinical Ethics and Law Member Explores Paediatric End of Life Issues in Live BBC Television Debate

Published: 18 March 2018

The Big Questions is a BBC One programme which examines contemporary moral, political and religious issues.

Dr Peta Coulson-Smith, Senior Teaching Fellow, Clinical Ethics and Law, University of Southampton appeared on a live television debate show on 18th March 2018.

The debate asked, “Should doctors decide whether to withdraw life-sustaining treatment in children?” and using her background in paediatrics and ethics, Peta explored how decision making in collaboration with parents, should be fundamental in meeting a child’s best interests.

The discussion covered issues around keeping children alive beyond the means by which there are treatments available, suffering, quality of life, resources issues and the impact of social media following high profile recent court cases. Parents of children with life-limiting conditions represented a variety of views in the programme and provided an insightful, brave and eloquent narrative.

The programme is available on the BBC iPlayer -
The debate begins at 30 minutes.


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