Who Decides? Perspectives from Key Stakeholders in Adolescent Advance Care Planning

Who decides? Perspectives from key stakeholders in adolescent advance care planning

Headshot of Jennifer Needle
Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH

Advance care planning supports patient-centered decision-making by discussing goals, values, and preferences for future medical care. This process involves three key stakeholders: the patient, their surrogate decision-maker, and their clinicians. How do the stakeholder roles change when the patient is an adolescent who has the capacity but not the legal right to make medical decisions?  

Dr. Jennifer Needle addressed this question from the perspectives of these stakeholders in the context of adolescent advance care planning. She reviewed the literature on the benefits and barriers to effective advance care planning, discusses clinician, patient, and surrogate perspectives on medical decision-making in adolescent patients, and discussed future areas of research to support adolescent patients and their families in making informed medical decisions.

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Minnesota's Medical School. 


Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, works within the Pediatric ICU at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. As the sole member of the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics with an appointment in the Center for Bioethics, she serves as a resource to students, residents, and faculty who face ethical challenges in the clinical care of pediatric patients. She has developed a local, regional, and national reputation as a leading early investigator in the field of pediatric palliative care and advance care planning. Dr. Needle’s academic focus is on adolescent and young adult advance care planning for patients with potentially life-limiting illnesses.