Editor's Note: In response to the addition of a new section entitled Ethics for Primary Pediatricians to the American Board of Pediatrics' core content, Pediatrics in Review offers a series of articles on many aspects of ethical decision-making. The writing and reviewing of articles are contributed primarily by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Bioethics.

Unique to pediatrics is the physician-patient-parent relationship. Medical decisions are made best with the rights and obligations of each of these individuals kept in mind as well as an understanding of widely accepted principles of medical ethics. This article presents a brief overview of the ethical principles of autonomy and beneficence; the patient's best interest standard; and the rights of parents, children, and adolescents in medical decision-making. Each is discussed in light of relevant policies and guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It should be noted that the principle-based...

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