Termination of nutrition and hydration in a child with vegetative state


Termination of nutrition and hydration in a child with vegetative state


Leicher CR; DiMario FJ


Archives Of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine




Female; Humans; Parents; Withholding Treatment; Euthanasia; Dissent and Disputes; Group Processes; Enteral Nutrition; Death and Euthanasia; decision making; infant; Brain Diseases; Child Abuse Amendments 1984; Clinical; Coma/etiology/therapy; Connecticut; Ethics Committees; Federal Government; Government Agencies; Government Regulation; Hartford Hospital (CT); Passive/legislation & jurisprudence; Right to Die/legislation & jurisprudence; Status Epilepticus/complications


A child in a vegetative state may present difficult decisions for physicians and families regarding the course of treatment. We report a case of a child who entered a prolonged vegetative state following status epilepticus. The child's parents requested termination of artificial means of nutrition and hydration. That request culminated in a complex legal intervention by multiple state agencies and attracted local media attention. This article presents the details of the case and discusses the medical and legal complexities encountered. The diagnosis and prognosis of the persistent vegetative state in children have recently been defined. Decision making in these circumstances should be based on adequate, careful clinical evaluation of the medical facts. Hospital ethics committees can provide an independent forum in which the diverse viewpoints in a case may be examined. Decision making should optimally be accomplished between families and caretakers.


Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).


Journal Article

Citation List Month



Leicher CR; DiMario FJ, “Termination of nutrition and hydration in a child with vegetative state,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 28, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/12359.