A decision to forgo life-sustaining medical treatment (LSMT) for a critically ill child injured as the result of abuse should be made using the same criteria as those used for any critically ill child. The parent or guardian of an abused child may have a conflict of interest when a decision to forgo LSMT risks changing the legal charge faced by a parent, guardian, relative, or acquaintance from assault to manslaughter or homicide. If a physician suspects that a parent or guardian is not acting in a child's best interest, further review and consultation should be sought in hopes of resolving the conflict. A guardian ad litem who will represent the child's interests regarding LSMT should be appointed in all cases in which a parent or guardian may have a conflict of interest.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health