Exhaust All Measures: Ethical Issues In Pediatric End-of-life Care


Exhaust All Measures: Ethical Issues In Pediatric End-of-life Care


Thieleman KJ; Wallace C; Cimino AN; Rueda HA


Journal of Social Work in End-of-life and Palliative Care




Parents/px [psychology]; Pediatrics; Social Workers/px [psychology]; Terminal Care/es [ethics]; Terminal Care/px [psychology]; Decision Making; Family; Health Personnel/px [psychology]; Humans; Interviews As Topic; Professional-family Relations; Terminal Care/st [standards]; Withholding Treatment/es [ethics]


The death of a child may have a profound impact on parents, family members, and health care providers who provided care for the child. Unique challenges are faced by parents of seriously ill children as they must serve as the legal authority for health care decisions of children under age 18, although the child's wishes must also be considered. Social workers must balance core social work values, bioethical values, and psychosocial issues presented by such situations. While studies have been conducted with physicians and nurses regarding ethical issues in pediatric end-of-life care settings, little is known about how social workers experience these conflicts. This article utilizes two vignettes to illustrate potential ethical issues in this setting and applies the National Association of Social Workers Standards for Palliative and End of Life Care (NASW, 2004 ) to explore options for their resolution. These vignettes provide descriptions of possible reactions in this setting and can be used as a basis for further exploration of ethics in pediatric end-of-life care from a social work perspective.


Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

September 2017 List


Thieleman KJ; Wallace C; Cimino AN; Rueda HA, “Exhaust All Measures: Ethical Issues In Pediatric End-of-life Care,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 31, 2023, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/10697.