Sue Boucher
Post count: 21

Thanks for sharing this ethical dilemma, Charne. I am sure it is one that so many can identify with. Truth telling is crucial when building a relationship of trust with a child and it must go against your own moral principles to withhold the truth and even to have to lie to appease the parents. A logical move would be to offer counselling to the parents so that they understand the importance of honesty, but I know this is not always possible and they may not be open to it. Dr Justin Amery, who wrote the book “Children’s Palliative Care in Africa” gives these examples of responses to requests for collusion:
“I can see you would rather I didn’t discuss that with X. Can you share with me why you feel like that?”
“Perhaps we could work together to plan how much we can tell X, and to discuss what effects this might have on him/her.”