Rare diseases, despite their low individual prevalence, affect a large number of children. Their management has considerably improved recently due to new treatments, modifying the diseases evolution without being totally curative. Since this raises many ethical dilemmas, we present a study about respecting the principles of medical ethics in the management of rare diseases in pediatrics.
Material and methods
We carried out a qualitative study in a French pediatric neurology department. In our study, we included health caregivers and parents of children being monitored for rare diseases and benefiting from innovative therapies. We conducted semi-structured interviews and, after transcription, we performed computerized and manual analysis.
A total of 26 participants were included. Six main themes were addressed: rare diseases, science and medical research, general disease management, specific innovative treatments, neonatal screening, and cost of these treatments. Discussions centered on the children. Particular importance was given to the notions of information and the physician/family relationship. A major place is given to the treatment objectives and the improvement of quality of life. We also noted a sense of satisfaction with the current overall management of these diseases.
Our study suggests that our current practice, including the use of innovative therapies, respects the four main ethical principles, from the points of view of both caregivers and parents.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Rare diseases, Ethics, Ethical principles, Innovative treatment, Children, Pediatric neurology
Vol 28 - N° 4P. 311-318 - mai 2021 Retour au numéro
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