Through our language, we are unthinkingly privileging doctors’ views over those of parents
In paediatric hospitals, conflicts sometimes arise between parents and doctors about the appropriate medical treatment for a child. Parents sometimes seek a treatment, such as ongoing ventilation or additional radiotherapy, that the medical team considers inappropriate for that particular child. Alternatively, parents sometimes refuse treatments that the child’s doctors view as essential. Some of these cases end up in court, while others are resolved within the hospital.