Congratulations to Dr. Becky Benson (General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine/Palliative Care) on her recent publication in the journal Pediatrics.
Levy C, Weeks KS, Benson RJ, Miller JM, Higgins J, Deutsch SA, Lantos JD. Failure to Provide Adequate Palliative Care May Be Medical Neglect. Pediatrics. 2019 Oct;144(4). pii: e20183939. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-3939. Epub 2019 Sep 4.
Abstract: Doctors are required to notify Child Protective Services (CPS) if parents do not provide appropriate medical care for their children. But criteria for reporting medical neglect are vague. Which treatments properly fall within the realm of shared decision-making in which parents can decide whether to accept doctors’ recommendations? Which treatments are so clearly in the child’s interest that it would be neglectful to refuse them? When to report medical neglect concerns to CPS may be controversial. It would seem inhumane to allow a child to suffer because of parental refusal to administer proper analgesia. In this ethics rounds, we present a case of an adolescent with chronic pain who is terminally ill. Her parents were not adherent to recommended analgesia regimens. Her palliative care team had to decide whether to report the case to CPS.