Clinical Ethics 13 (4):172-174 (2018)

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Alderson critiques our recent book on the basis that it overlooks children’s own views about their medical treatment. In this response, we discuss the complexity of the paediatric clinical context and the value of diverse approaches to investigating paediatric ethics. Our book focuses on a specific problem: entrenched disagreements between doctors and parents about a child’s medical treatment in the context of a paediatric hospital. As clinical ethicists, our research question arose from clinicians’ concerns in practice: What should a clinician do when he or she thinks that parents are choosing a treatment pathway that does not serve the child’s best interests? Alderson’s work, in contrast, focuses on the much broader issue of children’s role in decision-making about treatment and research. We argue that these different types of work are zooming in on different aspects of paediatric ethics, with its complex mix of agents, issues and relationships. Paediatric ethics overall needs a rich mix of approaches,...
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DOI 10.1177/1477750918789998
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