Ethical relationships in paediatric emergency medicine: Moving beyond the dyad

John Bridges, Ralph Hanson, Miles Little, Alison Choy Flannigan, Michael Fairley, Leigh Haywood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Most areas of health-services research concentrate on a dyadic relationship between doctor and patient. In paediatric emergency medicine it may be necessary to focus on a more complicated relationship because the parents of the child play an important role in the delivery of medical services. This paper discusses the ethical principles in paediatric emergency medicine from the perspective of five disciplines: health economics, paediatrics, medical ethics, law and mental health. The general consensus is that the traditional dyadic model is inadequate and that a more complicated relationship is needed for the paediatric emergency setting, such as triadic, multiple-dyadic or polyadic. Such models allow the inclusion of the parents and possibly other family members, medical providers and community members. If the paediatric setting is considered in such a framework, it may be possible to deliver a more socially beneficial medical service.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalEmergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Economics
  • Emergency medicine
  • Ethics
  • Law
  • Paediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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