Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
DINIZ, Debora. The ethical dilemmas of human life: the hospital history of children with serious cerebral palsy. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.12, n.3, pp. 345-355. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1996000300008.
This study deals with the ethical premises of medical treatment for children with serious cerebral palsy. Eight months of ethnographic research were carried out with patients at the Cerebral Palsy Center in the Sarah Hospital in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Observation of treatment for these children, who displayed limited clinical change, led to the following question, as suggested by discussions from medical deontology: What is the purpose of medical treatment for children with serious cerebral palsy? The results of our research point to social and humanist explanations going beyond the official medical scientific explanation, which limits treatment to corporal mechanicism.
Keywords : Cerebral Palsy; Child's Health; Medical Anthropology; Medical Ethics.