What should doctors do when parents request ‘second best’ treatments for their children?
There has been research into the ethics of parental refusal of treatment, for example, Jehovah’s Witness parents who refuse a blood transfusion for their children. In cases where the life of the child is at risk, it is widely accepted that doctors should over-ride parents’ wishes.
But the question of what doctors should do when parents are not refusing treatment, rather requesting a substitute ‘second best’ treatment, has attracted less attention. Continue reading