How to decide?

Hi there, I’d like to ask you a question as a physiotherapist. What do you do, when parents don’t bring their children to therapy and don’t give the medication needed? The impact for the children is, that they loose the possibility to walk if they are not being treated. Despite several discussions with the parents, they are not able to provide regularity. Are we, as physiotherapists, in a position to decide what is the best for these children? Is the expertise vision important enough to report these facts to authorities? Do other countries  know a form of reporting to authorities, when children are being abused? Would be great to become some answers : ))


2 Replies to “How to decide?”

  1. Hi there. This is such a difficult situation. It reminds me of those situations where parents deny life-saving surgery to their children because of their religious beliefs about blood transfusions. I believe that even in these situations, the health professional may not over ride the parents’ decision. However, the specific law in your country may be better to provide guidance on this, rather than what happens in other countries. Protocols for referrals to social services – especially when children are involved – are often regulated by law. My advice is to find out what the legal requirements are, and what implications exist if action is taken. I would not be comfortable advising on something as potentially serious as this. It would be an excellent topic for your ethics assignment though. Maybe you could consider writing a detailed post on this?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey there.
    This is a very interesting and difficult situation. I have not been in a situation like or similar to this before. I believe that as health care professionals we have to do what’s best for our patients and we have to treat them holistically. If I was in your situation, before reporting the parents to the authorities I would ask myself if it is the right thing to do for my patient. Firstly I will find out if the parents are abusive or they are doing the best that they can? If I do report the parents then will that mean that the child will be given better care else where? Will the child receive the treatment and care needed in somebody else’s hands Or will the child not benefit and not receive any treatment and care at all when they out of their parent’s care? There are a lot of questions which need to be asked and found out especially when children are involved. If the answers to the above questions are not positive I would then speak to a social worker as they look into the home situation of the patient and they can take the matter further. I am not sure about the law of your country or how your health system works either, maybe finding out more about that will help you in making an informed decision.

    Goodluck 🙂


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