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Module 8: Peds Patients

Upon completion of this module, the resident should be able to:

  1. To describe the relationship between (a) age and (b) the acquisition and manifestation of decisional capacity.
  2. To define assent and dissent and distinguish these concepts from consent and refusal.
  3. To define and distinguish "mature minors," "emancipated minors," and "statutory minors"; and to explain the significance of these terms for decision making in the care of adolescent patients.
  4. To explain the concept of "best interests" in the context of decision making for pediatric and adolescent patients.
  5. To describe and differentiate the roles of children/adolescents, parents/surrogates, and physicians in health care decision making.
  6. To identify contentious or controversial issues in health care decision making by and on behalf of pediatric and adolescent patients.

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Additional Resources

Ethical guidance for dealing with parent-child disagreements can be found at:

An overview of end of life decision making and adolescents is provided at:

An in-depth discussion of assent and dissent (compared with consent and refusal) is found at:; another is found at:

Ethics and professionalism benchmarks in pediatrics can be found at:

A provocative article on adolescence, medicine, and the law can be found at:

Posttest / Transcript

Module: 8 ETHICSMOD-8 Peds Patients Posttest Available  

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