Ethics in Child Health – Chapter 24: Ethical considerations regarding surgical treatment of severe scoliosis in children with cerebral palsy (ebook)


Chapter 24 of the book – Ethical considerations regarding surgical treatment of severe scoliosis in children with cerebral palsy

In our work with children with complex needs, the greater the level of uncertainty about a course of action (as discussed,  e.g. in Chapters  5 and 6), the more challenging the issues become and the greater the chance of conflict, distress and dissatisfaction. This chapter illustrates these challenges clearly as the author considers the process of family and clinical team weighing the options for high-risk scoliosis corrective surgery in a teenager with severe impairments. The author presents the issues as they might be experienced by the child, the family and the healthcare team. The child and family’s prior experience of surgeries and the intensive care unit weigh heavily on them, while the healthcare team must face the reality of the limitations of being ‘evidence-based’ when the facts are simply unavailable to guide their advice to families.

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.

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