Doctors' Dilemmas: What can you do when your child patient says no?

There are always ethical conundrums when a minor refuses medical treatment considered to be in their best interest

The dilemma

Sam is a 12-year-old boy who sees you with an infected ingrown toenail that would benefit from surgical debridement.

He refuses to have the procedure. His parents are keen to go ahead as medically advised.

Is it ethically acceptable to treat Sam’s infected ingrown toenail against his wishes?

Gillick competency

This is a problem about a child refusing medically recommended therapy. 

It is not uncommon for children to refuse things that are good for them

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