Bioethics Committee discusses ethical dilemmas and limits between life and death

The Bioethics Committee of The Pequeno Príncipe Hospital was formalized August to help professionals in the analysis and guiding of cases that present ethical dilemmas. These conflicts range from issues regarding the best treatment for a specific patient to deeper questions, such as the procedure about terminality of a life without the correct technical support or physical conditions of the patient.

“By taking a case to the Committee, we are putting the patient as the priority of care and analyzing the situation to think about what is best for him,” explains Leonardo Cavadas, a doctor part of the Committee. “This is one more initiative that strengthens the humanization practices in Pequeno Príncipe, since cases that involve moral dilemmas require more than technical, medical or scientific abilities. It takes empathy and compassion,” he emphasizes.

Flora Watanabe, the Committee’s president and chief of the Oncology Service, points out that in a children’s hospital, the issue about ethics is more diverse, and includes matters such as respecting the autonomy of an underage patient and his parents. “The autonomy of patients belongs to their legal guardians, who have this right through custody. However, the decisions are taken as a group, respecting the child’s and the family’s wishes. We have the duty to protect these children and teenagers that are legally unfit. Our Hospital is guided by the conduct of humanization, solidarity and compassion. More than ever, we are going towards a culture of doing what is better for each individual, based on an ethical responsibility,” she highlights.

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