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Table 4 Two sets of beliefs about the ethics of responding to children’s anxiety before elective surgery

From: The involvement and autonomy of young children undergoing elective paediatric cardiac surgery: a qualitative study

Anxiety is mainly:

Physiological, behavioural

Social, emotional, reasonable

If children resist, doctors should:

Continue interventions as quickly as possible

Allow time to negotiate

Coercion and deception are:

Necessary if in child’s best interests

Not in child’s best interests

Children’s best interests are:

To have surgery

To have surgery they can understand and cooperate with as much as possible

Adults should:

Be in control

Inform, involve and support children as much as possible

Laws on adult patients’ consent are:

Irrelevant to young children

Important guides and standards