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The Role of Cognitive Development in Pediatric Medical Decision-Making

Author: SUSAN ZINNER
Published in GVER, Vol. 5 No. 1

This article examines the limitations of decision-making skills of children
and adolescents in a medical context imposed by cognitive immaturity. The author
considers the work of Piaget and other theorists who have addressed when
children do and do not possess the requisite maturity to make their own decisions.
Finally, the author proposes that providers individually assess the cognitive
abilities of children in an attempt to ascertain when the child is able to make his or
her own decision, regardless of chronological age.

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