Ethics in Child Health – Chapter 16: When expectations diverge (ebook)


Chapter 16 of the book – When expectations diverge: addressing our cultural differences differently

Many of the families we meet have come to our communities from cultures in which ‘disability’ carries meaning quite different from our understanding. As a result, cultural clashes can arise and be daunting for everyone. This chapter discusses the story of a young teenager with significant impairments, whose family’s values and actions contrasted with those the care team were recommending as important. These differences created tensions for everyone involved with the young lady’s care.

Funkhouser and Linett offer a thoughtful analysis of the approaches to these differences, in which good clinical practice includes listening, trying to understand and being attuned to others’ realities. They also point out how important it is to maintain contact with families facing these kinds of predicaments, especially when situations change and what might have been difficult might become feasible.

The issues discussed here have echoes of those discussed in Chapter 9 and Chapter 18.

About the complete book

Have you ever:

  • Wondered how to deal with a family that repeatedly fails to keep clinic appointments?
  • Disagreed with colleagues over a proposed course of treatment for a child?
  • Considered ways to ‘bump’ a child on a waiting to speed up their assessment?

These are a few of the scenarios faced by clinicians in neurodisability on a daily basis. Ethics in Child Health explores the ethical dimensions of these issues that have either been ignored or not recognised. Each chapter is built around a scenario familiar to clinicians and is discussed with respect to how ethical principles can be utilised to inform decision-making. Useful ‘Themes for Discussion’ are provided at the end of each chapter to help professionals and students develop practical ethical thinking. Ethics in Child Health offers a set of principles that clinicians, social workers and policy-makers can utilise in their respective spheres of influence.


Readership: clinicians and paediatricians in neurodisability, service providers in neurodisability, community-based health professionals,  and health policy makers.

[iframe id=””]