Be the first to like.

Share

But as children grow up, how can they, and how should they, begin to participate in making medical decisions? What if they disagree with their parents, or with their doctors? When do they get to decide whether to have elective surgery, whether to go on medication for attention deficit disorder, whether to undergo medical tests or treatments or just wait to see whether their symptoms clear up on their own?

The American Academy of Pediatrics last month issued a new policy statement, with an accompanying technical report, analyzing the issue of informed consent by pediatric patients. It discusses the question of formal informed consent, but also the question of assent, suggesting that even a child as young as 7 can express an informed agreement with proposed medical treatment, and that if the child is properly informed and involved in the discussion, this can “foster the moral growth and development of autonomy in young patients.”

Dr. Aviva Katz, a pediatric surgeon who is the director of the Ethics Consultation Service at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and was first author on both, said that these new reports were guided in part by an understanding of neurodevelopment and the evolving decision-making abilities of adolescents.

… Read More

Be the first to like.

Share
NY Times Well Blog

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply