Parental Competence in Medical Caregiving and Decision Making
October’s issue explores the extraordinary challenges pediatric physicians and the parents of their patients face in determining the best interest of children who are ill. In one case, the parent of a child with Down syndrome appears to be compromising his independence by doing too much for him. In another, a medical student discovers that neither her adolescent patient nor his family share her concern about his obesity. The policy and law sections look at limits the state may impose on parents who reject standard treatment for their children or refuse to have them vaccinated. In one moving essay, a physician helps his colleagues understand the stresses and complex feelings experienced by families with severely disabled children.