Coronavirus Update: Ethics Considerations, Guidance and Resources.
It appears you're using Mirosoft Internet Explorer or an early version of Edge. To fully enjoy this website — and pretty much every modern website in existence — we suggest you upgrade to Chrome or Firefox. You'll be happier.
Pediatric decision-making is a special kind of surrogate decision-making that involves a child (if old enough to understand treatment choices), their parent or guardian, and their health care provider.
Children under the age of 18 are generally considered as not having the capacity to make health care decisions for themselves and cannot give informed consent. Parents or legal guardians are presumed to be the appropriate decision-makers for their minor children.
When making medical decisions for minor children, parents/guardians should do so according to what is in the child’s best interest. Best interest is determined by a number of factors including, but not limited to:
If there is an inability to reach consensus about what is in the child’s best interest, the wishes of the parents/guardian generally are given preference. There are, however, limits on parental discretion with decision-making when there is evidence that parents’ actions or decisions likely represent serious harm to the child.
The Conversation Project has developed a Pediatric Starter Kit to help families have conversations with a seriously ill child. The goal of these conversations is to understand your child’s wishes as much as possible so you can ensure that their wishes are honored.