As the childhood obesity epidemic rises, and the need for safe, effective treatments increases, we must determine the impact of this epidemic on doctor’s decision-making and their ability to respond and care most effectively for extremely obese children. More and more evidence and studies are showing that surgical treatment and obesity drugs children are effective weight loss treatments for children. However doctors will be facing difficult decisions about how these treatments should be used to treat obese children.
There is an urgency to collect empirical evidence that determines if doctors are in fact experiencing or facing ethical questions and challenges. We must also determine what steps are necessary to strengthen doctors ability to the provide obese children with the best care possible. We need to better understand:
- If clinicians are facing unique ethical dilemmas during the treatment of extremely obese children;
- If they are facing ethical dilemmas, which are most prevalent and challenging; and
- Do clinicians need more support/training in surgical practice, pharmacotherapy, and ethics to effectively use weight management treatments?