A bioethical problem that sometimes arises in pediatric practice, is to what extent the opinion of sick children should be taken into consideration when assessing the medical measures that they receive. In a series of articles published in the American Journal of Bioethics, it is suggested that having children participate in the medical procedures that they have to undergo continues to be a problem for the physicians responsible for their treatment. There are few studies in the literature that address this issue. The authors evaluated it in the light of two specific clinical cases (see more HERE).

Their conclusions were preceded by an extensive literature review and they suggest, “All these problems lead to our recommendation on personalized decision making. This approach does not rely on one-size-fits-all philosophical paradigms but requires health providers to adjust the decision making to the specific child, family, and the circumstances of the decision itself and children could be encouraged, and supported as needed, to participate in the decision-making. Cultural humility would require us to recognize that ours is not the only, or not even necessarily the best, way to think about the ideal process of decision making for medical treatment, especially end-of-life care.” (see the cases of Alfie Evans, Charlie Gard and Ashya King).

Our Observatory defends the patient autonomy involving the ill child and his family in medical making decision.