Ethics in the Era of Opioid Epidemic and Marijuana Legalization

The obvious benefits of a strong, healthy partnership with patients and families in pediatric pain care are undeniable. But, in a time when a clinician may be held responsible for everything, criminal negligence, or child abuse related to undertreatment of pain or contributing to prescription drug abuse because they treated their patients' pain with medication, a better understanding of the fine and murky line of a clinician's ethical obligations becomes essential. Dr Douglas Diekema, a luminary in Pediatric Bioethics, sheds light on the ethical concepts and guidelines for clinicians to effectively navigate these issues providing best possible care for their pediatric patients.  

Takeaways in This Episode

  • What is the ‘‘best interest’’ principle in care of pediatric patients

  • Where does the ‘‘best interest’’ principle fall short?

  • What’s the role of the “harm principle? Who does it affect?

  • The parameters around “autonomy” in care of pediatric patients

  • Is there such a thing as the "Mature Minor” and where does it come into play in pediatric care?

  • Controversies around opioids prescriptions

  • Role and obligations of clinicians in prescriptions of opioids

  • Considerations when a clinician is faced with request for medical marijuana for a pediatric patient

  • The bottomline on marijuana use in pediatric patients

Links Mentioned

Douglas Diekema MD, MPH

Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics

Podcast Episode 5

AAP Poster on Safe Storage and Disposal of Medications

AAP Policy Statement on Marijuana

Pediatric Bioethics Conference 2018

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