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Keywords:

  • children's autonomy;
  • paediatric nursing;
  • power;
  • values and beliefs

Summary

  • The topic of children's rights is a wide-ranging and complex subject, and in recognition of this fact this paper specifically addresses the concept of the right of children to make decisions about their own health-care.
  • This paper explores the many factors which may influence a child's right to autonomy, including family relationships and the broader external influences exerted by health-care workers.
  • The discussion highlights the dilemmas which may be faced by nurses when their values and beliefs, or hierarchical position within the health-care structure, inhibit their ability to promote children's autonomy.