Jonathan Marron on the need for new paradigms for considering parental treatment requests

The American Journal of Bioethics

Not All Disagreements Are Treatment Refusals: The Need for New Paradigms for Considering Parental Treatment Requests
by Jonathan M. Marron

Some of the most challenging and contentious issues in pediatric bioethics center around disagreements between individuals caring for the child in question. In contrast with the classic dyadic doctor–clinician relationship, pediatrics adds a third axis, creating the patient–parent–clinician triad. The third player in this system adds numerous layers of complexity, particularly when parties disagree. In such scenarios, who gets to decide for the child? What standards or frameworks can aid in such decisions? How best, most quickly and—perhaps most importantly—most ethically to resolve intractable disputes? Luckily, such disagreements are quite rare, but thoughtful approaches are necessary to aid with these most challenging cases.

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