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Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México

versión impresa ISSN 1665-1146


GUADARRAMA-OROZCO, Jessica H. et al. The horizon of medical attention in pediatrics: what to do in the case of children who are in abandonment, conflict, harm or danger situations in combination with a severe disease?. Bol. Med. Hosp. Infant. Mex. [online]. 2018, vol.75, n.3, pp.166-177. ISSN 1665-1146.


Laws refer that minors do not have the capability to give informed consent for their own medical attention. However, there are special conditions in which they are allowed to decide about their health. The greater the judgement and experience limitations in minors, the less weight is given to the values and objectives they express. Also, the more adverse consequences might be, the higher the level of authority that is demanded to decide on behalf of the minor, thus granting the State the capability to guarantee the well-being of the minor.

Case report:

12-year-old female patient with a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, with precarious social and family background; evolution of the disease obstructed by the disregard of the treatment due to her unsanitary and extreme poverty conditions. Both of her parents died soon after the start of the treatment and she was kept under the care of her half-sister of legal age. The work and the ethical dilemma of the pediatrician and the staff of Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez are exposed within the building of support networks with the objective of prioritizing the minor’s well-being, without allowing family break-up or disintegration, thus succeeding in her recovery.


The case was submitted to the Hospital Bioethics Committee. Inter-institutional support networks were built in order to improve dynamics of the family, thus solving the needs of the minor. Despite the misfortune of the situation, the disease was successfully overcome.

Palabras llave : Bioethics issues; Clinical ethics; Clinical ethics committees; Medical ethics.

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