ESPNIC Rights of the Child for critically ill children & adaptation for ICU

European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Statement regarding recognition about the relevance of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child for critically ill children and its adaptation for ICU.

This standard applies to all children irrespective of any impairment/disabilities.

We recognize the critically ill child has the following 15 rights:

  1. Right to parents visiting without restriction, unless clinically necessary - e.g. confidentiality for other children during rounds or patient safety
  2. Right to excellent comfort and analgesia at any age
  3. Right to safe & effective medication
  4. Right to appropriate early recognition and interventions for life-threatening conditions
  5. Right to access excellent end-of-life/palliative care
  6. Right to participate in well designed and regulated medical research
  7. Right to be involved in decision-making wherever possible, and of access to devices and methods to enable and facilitate communication
  8. Right to the best quality and appropriately qualified medical, nursing and allied health professionals commensurate with national provision/standards
  9. Right to seek treatment across national borders in line with European law
  10. Right to safe & effective critical care transport accompanied by parent/carer
  11. Right to appropriate play, developmental care and education
  12. Right to protection from healthcare-associated infections by appropriate evidence based strategies and active unit surveillance
  13. Right to seek ethical review, whether expressed by parents/carers or the child themselves
  14. Right to have appropriate religious/spiritual care
  15. Right to seek legal intervention and to receive support to manifest these and all other right

Whilst short of a right, ESPNIC also recommends that:

  • Parents/carers are present and supported during episodes of resuscitation
  • Feedback from families ought to inform ICU provision
  • Psychological and pastoral support is available for families and staff