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    • Tayla Oshry
      Post count: 6

      I am currently faced with an ethical dilemma that involves a child with CP who requires nasogastric tube feeding to feed safely (and is being worked up for a PEG). The family brought the child to the hospital to assist with persistent vomiting and poor feeding for 6 months. He is now severely malnourished. After 2 days of treatment they have decided that they want to take him off all treatment (feeding tubes and ARV treatment) in favour of using traditional medicine.

      According to the children’s right: “A child with a disability or chronic illness has the right not to be subjected to medical, social, cultural or religious practices that are detrimental to his or her health, well-being or dignity”, would this decision not be detrimental to this child? When do we need to step in as healthcare professionals to follow this right vs respecting the autonomy of a patient’s family.

    • Sue Boucher
      Post count: 21

      Gosh, Tayla, this is a really difficult situation. The law definitely states that the best interest of the child is paramount but I’m sure there are a number of complexities within this family that would need to be properly explored by a social worker. Is it at all possible to ask to work together with the Traditional Healer they propose to take him to, where some kind of compromise could be agreed upon? It would be interesting to hear what other people think but I do believe that a social worker needs to assess what should happen here.

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