Unpacking Bedside Bioethics Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024, Noon - 1 pm

The Angst in Adolescent Decision-Making

Zoom | Free | Open to the public
Headshot of Prof. Ian Wolfe
Ian Wolfe, PhD, MA, RN, HEC-C


Medical decision-making involving adolescents can offer many challenges. As children age we want them to be more involved in decisions regarding their bodies and about their care. Because adolescents are not yet completely adults, there are considerations around their limited autonomy. Navigating these situations can be challenging especially when adolescents seem to be making choices that are not ideal. This talk will discuss the ethical tensions that exist and arise in decision-making with adolescents. We will discuss why these tensions are important, and provide a framework for helping bedside clinicians navigate them in practice.

Learning Objectives: After attending this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Name the ethical tensions leading to difficulties in adolescent decision-making.
  • Understand why these tensions are so important.
  • Provide a framework for navigating these tensions in practice.

About the Series


Ian D. Wolfe, PhD, MA, RN, HEC-C, is Director of Ethics, Clinical Ethics Department, Children's Minnesota; Community Instructor Faculty, Department of Pediatrics, U of MN Medical School; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Pediatric Ethics. He earned his PhD in Nursing with a focus in bioethics, and his MA in Bioethics with a minor in Public Health and focus on health equity, from the University of Minnesota. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric bioethics at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. Dr. Wolfe has authored a broad range of journal articles that support his main interest which is how social, political and cultural systems issues affect clinical ethics and care at the bedside.

Dr. Wolfe is the current vice chair of the ethics advisory board for the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights. He has chaired and participated in other volunteer activities with state and national nursing and medical organizations such as the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and Society for Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Wolfe’s current areas of research focus on preventative and integrated ethics, parent-clinician interactions and decision-making, fetal health ethics, and the relationship of hospitals to the community.