This essay is a discussion of ethical issues that arise in the provision of home health care to technology-dependent children. Different ethical norms, especially with regard to the degree of professional responsibility for outcomes, traditionally have applied to home care and hospital care. In particular, parents generally are expected to do their best, but are not expected to have the same specialized knowledge of risks and benefits with regard to particular interventions as health professionals. When home health care involves the use of advanced medical technology, it strains traditional conceptions of parental responsibilities to care for the health of their children at home. It can also strain traditional concepts of professional responsibilities to care for critically ill children in hospitals. We discuss some of the tensions that arise as medical, psychological, and economic forces lead to the increasing use of high technology in the care of children outside of traditional health care institutions.

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