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Unresolved pain in children: an ethical perspective

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • It is considered the right of children to have their pain managed effectively. Yet, despite extensive research findings, policy guidelines and practice standard recommendations for the optimal management of paediatric pain, clinical practices remain inadequate. Empirical evidence definitively shows that unrelieved pain in children has only harmful consequences, with no benefits. Contributing factors identified in this undermanaged pain include the significant role of nurses. Nursing attitudes and beliefs about children's pain experiences, the relationships nurses share with children who are suffering, and knowledge deficits in pain management practices are all shown to impact unresolved pain in children. In this article, a relational ethics perspective is used to explore the need for nurses to engage in authentic relationships with children who are experiencing pain, and to use evidence-based practices to manage that pain in order for this indefensible suffering of children to end.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    © 2011 Deborah Olmstead, Shannon Scott & Wendy Austin. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original authors and source must be cited.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Olmstead, D., Scott, S. & Austin, W. 2011. Unresolved pain in children: an ethical perspective. Nursing Ethics, 17(6), 695-704.