Ethics in Child Health – Chapter 26: How much is too much care? (ebook)


Chapter 26 of the book – How much is too much care? Interventions and life support in children with profound impairments and life-threatening conditions

The fact that we often have the technological capacity to extend life can easily create considerable discomfort for practitioners as well as families, and can be the focal point for conflicts both between families and service providers, and more broadly within the health and social care teams. In their analysis of two cases, Newman and Zurbrugg discuss the impact of these challenges as they might concern the child, the family, the service providers and their teams, and the broader society in which these dramas play out. These dilemmas expose people’s personal values, and bring into focus universal values such as those enshrined in United Nations’ conventions on the rights of children and of disabled persons. (These issues are also addressed in Chapter 5.)

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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