Developing child autonomy in pediatric healthcare: towards an ethical model

Kyriakos Martakis*, Helmut Brand, Peter Schröder-Bäck

*Corresponding author for this work

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The changes initiated by the new National Civil and Commercial Code in Argentina underline the pediatric task to empower children's and adolescents' developing autonomy. In this paper, we have framed a model describing autonomy in child healthcare. We carried out a literature review focusing on i) the concept of autonomy referring to the absolute value of the autonomous individual, and ii) the age-driven process of competent decisionmaking development. We summarized our findings developing a conceptual model that includes the child, the pediatrician and the parents. The pediatricianchild relationship is based on different forms of guidance and cooperation, resulting in varying levels of activity and passivity. Parental authority influences the extent of autonomy, based on the level of respect of the child's moral equality. Contextual, existential, conceptual, and socialethical conditions shall be considered when applying the model to facilitate dialogue between pediatricians, children, parents and other actors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e401-e408
Number of pages7
JournalArchivos Argentinos de Pediatria
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • Journal Article
  • Healthcare provider
  • Pediatrics
  • Adolescent
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Child

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