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January 18, 1985

Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center

JAMA. 1985;253(3):421. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350270123036

This small book discusses the ethical issues facing physicians at the present time in a concise and highly readable manner. The book covers the most commonly discussed issues, such as treatment decisions for the critically ill newborn in the nursery, in an informative and nonjudgmental style. Also discussed are subjects that most of us have rarely considered and that have not been given a great deal of general attention but are of ethical importance, such as the use of placebos in children.

The book is particularly timely in a number of ways. As pediatricians assume increasing medical responsibility for adolescents and young adults, the issues concerning emancipated minors become increasingly relevant to their practice. Ethical issues are frequently compounded by legal concerns and this aspect is authoritatively discussed. Even the difficult area of the effect of economics on ethical decisions in medicine is addressed.

One of the unifying themes of