Intended for healthcare professionals


When doctors and parents disagree: royal college issues advice on dealing with conflict

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 18 April 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l1835
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Disagreement between doctors and parents about a child’s treatment can usually be resolved by careful listening or early involvement of mediation services, says new advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).1

When this does not work, legal and ethical advice may be needed for the parties to act in the child’s best interests.

The advice on how to manage such disagreements over a child’s care has been issued after the high profile cases of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, babies born with untreatable conditions. Their cases prompted media campaigns, lengthy court battles, and threats from …

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