Medication regimes in the context of end-of-life decisions in neonatology: legal considerations with regard to Dutch NICU-practice.

Medicine and law

PubMedID: 23967795

Dorscheidt JH, Verhagen E, Sauer PJ, Hubben JH. Medication regimes in the context of end-of-life decisions in neonatology: legal considerations with regard to Dutch NICU-practice. Med Law. 2013;32(2):215-29.
Developments in legal and medical research concerning end-of-life decisions regarding severely suffering neonates in the Netherlands provide good cause for reflection on specific items of this issue. This article deals with the outcomes of the first national survey on end-of-life practice in Dutch Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and examines the legal aspects of the use of medication as a part of this practice. The authors particularly reflect on the application of analgesics and sedatives on the one hand and neuromuscular blockers (NMBs) on the other hand. Furthermore, they focus on different elements of medicinal use such as indication, the moment of administering, dosage, effects of combinations of drugs, the relationship to the causation of death and (failures in) documentation.