SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
AMBLER, J. When is the right time? Complex issues around withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in children. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2014, vol.104, n.7, pp.505-506. ISSN 2078-5135.
When should one withdraw treatment in children? The challenge is to recognise when a decision needs to be made. Parents may be in denial, and deciding which questions to ask may be difficult. Ethically, the guiding principle should be the child's best interests. May the parents or primary caregiver decide what the child's best interests are? Legislation in South Africa prevents a parent or caregiver from refusing treatment that medical professionals deem to be in the child's best interests. This article discusses the ethical and legal aspects around the decision to palliate in children.