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Medical decision-making in paediatrics: Infancy to adolescence.

Medical decision-making in the paediatric population is complicated by the wide variation in physical and psychological development that occurs as children progress from infancy to adolescence. Parents and legal guardians are the de facto decision-makers in early infancy, but thereafter, the roles of parents/legal guardians and paediatric patients become ever more complex. Health care providers (HCPs), while not decision-makers per se, have a significant role in medical decision-making throughout childhood. This statement outlines the ethical principles of medical decision-making for HCPs involved in caring for paediatric patients. This revision focuses on individual decision-making in the context of the patient-provider relationship and provides increased guidance for dealing with disagreements.

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