In July 2017, the long-running, deeply tragic and emotionally fraught court case of UK infant, Charlie Gard reached its sad conclusion. This high profile case raised some vexing questions in medical ethics about the extent of parental discretion in decisions about treatment for a child.
It highlighted legal (and potentially ethical) differences between the US and UK approach to disagreement between professionals and parents. It attracted attention and comment from many public figures and raised questions about ethical debate in the age of social media and the internet.
While the central questions in the Gard case continue to divide ethicists, health professionals and the public, in this talk, Dr. Wilkinson will seek to identify some common ground and potential lessons to learn for future cases.
Dominic Wilkinson is Director of Medical Ethics and Professor of Medical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. He is a consultant in newborn intensive care at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. He also holds a health practitioner research fellowship with the Wellcome Trust. Follow Dr. Wilkinson on Twitter @Neonatalethics.