Ethics in Child Health – Chapter 6: The importance of beliefs and relationships in the decision-making (ebook)


Chapter 6 of the book – The importance of beliefs and relationships in the decision-making

In many clinical situations in the field of developmental impairment, knowledge of the facts may be limited or conflicting, and the decisions clouded by emotion, time pressures and alternate, often competing, views among the protagonists. Needelman and Sweeney bring these issues clearly into focus in this chapter, with a scenario covering the need to make decisions about the care and prognosis of a high-risk preterm neonate. By identifying the ‘cast’ and the ‘roles’ of the major players, the authors show us that this kind of drama unfolds without a pre-set script, and cannot be presented as a story that is ‘typical’ or formulaic. They remind us of the essentially personal nature of each story, and of the challenge and thus of the limitations of using ‘the literature’ appropriately in the specific case.

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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