Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Making Decisions
Liz and Alex
When children are critically ill, parents often have to make challenging choices about treatment and surgery. "I commonly tell patients that at some gut level, it ought to make sense," says plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Vicari, "and if it doesn't, don't do it, and keep asking questions until it does. I also tell them to get a second opinion." In addition, parents may also have to make decisions about whether it's time to stop treatment for a terminally ill child and how to communicate in the final days. "You need to take cues from the child," explains pediatric oncologist Dr. Stewart Goldman, "and allow him the opportunity to talk about how he feels." Even if you're not facing a critical medical dilemma, there are many things you can learn from doctors and other parents about how to make effective parenting decisions and how to celebrate life with your children.
Insights from Children's Hospital
A Peaceful Death
How to offer a child the chance to live fully even as he may be dying.
Questions to Ask Before Making a Decision
Find out what to ask your doctor, your child, and even yourself.
Parent Stories
How Parents Make Critical Decisions
Find out how parents decided to pursue or reject further treatment for their critically ill child.
Through a Child's Eyes
Life Can Be Unfair
"I can't ride my bike anymore!" Allison Cieslak explains how chemotherapy has changed her life.
Featured Resources
The Dougy Center for Grieving Children
This site provides resources for families dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Visit the Resources page for more information to help you make critical decisions about your child's health care.