The Ethical Implications of Kids on ADHD Medication

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Attention, Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, affects children extensively and if not well diagnosed and treated the effect can continue up to adulthood. It is the most diagnosed mental disorder in children. The disease is treatable using various drugs which must adhere to some ethics. Within the past ten years, the prescription of psychiatric medications on disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has increased. Ethical issues are vital in determining the way medical officers should conduct themselves when diagnosing or treating the disease which may lead to unpredictable and strong reactions from children. In this regard, the medication of ADHD on children is associated with some ethical implications.

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Several drugs are useful in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. One of them is Adderall which is addictive prescription whose effects relate to those of Meth. If used with the wrong order, most of its users risk developing an addiction. Medical doctors give prescriptions of this drug to cure both ADHD and narcolepsy. It is administered in tablet form then after some time orally. Among ADHD patients it has a severe implication as far as fatigue is concerned. Other drugs used apart from Adderall include Concerta, Focalin, Focalin XR, Daytrana, and Desoxyn among others. All these stimulant and non-stimulant medications have side effects to the patients and doctors must be ethically responsible while diagnosing and prescribing them (Foreman 193). The four ethical principles applicable in diagnosis and treatment of ADHD children include justice, autonomy, non-maleficence, and beneficence. All these principles should be well applied to achieve the best intervention.

Ethical Principles Considered in Relationships with Minors with ADHD

Since 1989 when the United Nations Promulgated the Convention on Rights of the Child, several series on childhood view and perceptions have become common. They are mainly based on the minor’s capacity to be involved in the decision-making procedures on the various health and illnesses typically affecting the child which have favored the medication of children with quirkiness. Children are among the members of the age groups which need more use of the preventive model and in this case, the modulation of care by use of a third-party figure who may involve a guardian or a parent is useful (Lipstein 667). The figure is responsible for transmitting the demand as well as intervening in both the therapeutic and diagnostic procedures together with the sick person.

The care for minors should be modulated based on principles which govern the bioethics. The four principles include justice, autonomy, non-maleficence, and beneficence. They are considered as primary principles (prima facie) and should apply if they don’t conflict each other in the concerned case (Foreman, 192). They should override any additional terms and also used hierarchically in situations where they don’t enter into conflicts. As per the internal hierarchy, justice and non-maleficence should be the first ones, and they oversee the minimal ethical procedures present even stated by the law. Beneficence and autonomy concern the essential projects of individuals with the condition in association with their ethical measures as well as their value rankings. Their applicability in healthcare should be related to the dignity vulnerability and integrity aspects of the patient. The autonomy principle’s respect typically needs the responsibility principle. The principle of autonomy is fundamental in asymmetric relationships such as those in healthcare provision. Majorly, in the psychological and psychiatric care of minors such as children, the autonomy principle should be interpreted as per the ethical responsibility framework. Otherwise, the decision of the health officer is rendered irresponsible and to some extent harmful.

As per the medical guides, the non-maleficence and beneficence as well as the ethical justice ethical principles, are important to consider in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with ADHD. While distinguishing the group of kids, the parents or guardians who assume the responsibility of leadership. In cases where the patient’s involvement is much needed, some rights need compulsory preservation.

Generally, knowing these principles does not guarantee that an individual knows how to use them. Different scholars have identified some interrelated techniques. They include dialect, balancing, and specification. Specification concerns how these four principles interrelate with the practical judgments and norms that lead an individual to actions. Secondly, dialect involves how people compare their understanding with the prediction of ethical approaches which seeks to utilize their coherence. Thirdly, balancing includes the way people assign weights to different norms to aid an individual to choose the best course of action (Foreman 194). For example, the role of ethical approaches and values against the legal frameworks, together with the four principles, while the professional opinions are our practical and considered judgments.

Compulsory Precautions on the Ethical Perspective During ADHD Diagnosis

It is vital to make a definite diagnosis that is adaptable to the kid with the probability of having ADHD. Offering diagnoses involve both an ethical and a pragmatic question, and as far as children are concerned, there are adverse effects which range from complications such as educational issues and others that include stigmatization, in school and at home. These effects and complications have negative consequences on the opportunities of the child. Children are much affected by the perceptions in regard to stigmatization even more than adults. Health guidelines recommend that during the diagnosis of ADHD, health professionals must be more cautious and majorly respecting the non-maleficence criterion to avoid the negative implications towards the child in the family, school and society at large.

The Correct Ethical Standards in ADHD Therapeutic Interventions

When beginning therapeutic interventions among kids with ADHD, a health professional must respond to various parameters for it to meet the required ethical measures. Firstly, consideration is the suitability which assesses whether the intervention will help in achieving the intended purpose. Secondly, the necessity of the intervention should be considered to make sure that the health professional uses the best option available which fulfills the goal with more efficacy. Thirdly, proportionality where the benefits derived from the therapeutic intervention outweighs the harm associated with it and over other conflict values. A judge must approve the admission of kids with ADHD in most cases, a good example being within the Spanish law (Frick and Nigg, 78). The decision should be made based on age and followed by a report from the services of children care. It is recommended that a health professional who is responsible for ADHD diagnosis and treatment should act within the proportionality, sustainability and necessity principles to ensure that the rights of the kid adhere and only what is necessary is administered.

Decision-Making Involvement of the Child During ADHD Treatment and Diagnosis

Children who are below the age of 12 years have their decision-making during ADHD medication given by their parents or guardians since they are not mature enough to have their consent sought in the interventions fully. Older children who are above the age of 12 are required by law to make decisions about their medication, but evaluation of their age is done by health professionals on the bases of the situation in hand weighing up the benefits and risks associated with it (Lipstein 665). When the guardians or parents must have their consent sought, and there is a disparity between the two parties, a consensus accompanied by necessary medications is necessarily vital for the benefit of the child, after making the conflicting parties aware of the risks associated with taking or not taking action of the ADHD diagnosis and treatment. When it is found difficult to come up with reconciliation, the parents or guardian’s decision is sought to be the best to prefer since it has a more significant benefit to the minor (Lipstein et al. 669). If there is doubt or conflict among independent parties, it is vital to seek legal assistance and authorization to offer the necessary protection to the kid.

Rights of the Child in the Information and Confidentiality Field during ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

The patients’ rights to intimacy and respect for their privacy is generally given to mature children to a more considerable extent. It encompasses several aspects of confidentiality such as the medication data, once the risks and the benefits that entail it, as well as an exception of the severe threats to them. In the cases of dealing with children, these measures are associated with the obligations and wiliness of the parent or guardian to have access to the information and data. The essential criterion requires that the breaking of confidentiality of the health information of a mature child. In a case where health professionals are in a dilemma of personal conflicts, jurisdiction is the best option (van Hulst et al., 208).

Health professionals must always listen to children with ADHD letting them know the many doubts and options present as well as sharing confidential information with their parents as per the maturity degrees and the need to improve and complement the treatment process. Sometimes, children diagnosed with ADHD are not suffering from the disorder. It is sometimes a misdiagnosis. They are ordinarily healthy but are bored or excitable. The age of a kid in comparison with that of his or her peers influences the perception of a tutor of whether they have ADHD (Morrow, L et al., 1). Kids who join a school at a young age may underperform due to their immaturity, but teachers might mistake them for having ADHD. Also, kids with higher levels of intelligence may be misdiagnosed with ADHD because they sometimes get bored in a class by some things they think are too easy. Some of the diseases that might be confused with ADHD among children include bipolar disorder, autism, sleep disorders, and behavioral disorders. Health professionals must ensure they are taking the necessary ethical steps mentioned earlier to confirm these children are in fact affected from the disorder as assumed by teachers or parents.


In the treatment, if ADHD, ethical procedures must be considered of which four main ethical principles guide health professional to make the socially, morally and ethically acceptable decisions in the diagnosis and therapeutic intervention of ADHD. Application of some drugs in the medication of kids with ADHD disorder is essential although they are well associated with some effects and implications. Kids are not able to make decisions on their care more so if they are under the age of twelve years. Parents and guardians are obliged to make decisions on behalf of kids during therapeutic interventions. Some diagnoses on ADHD pose negative implications on kids, such as stigmatization in schools, families and the society at large. Doctors should ensure the reduction of ethical implications and effects when administering these medications to achieve the provision of quality care.

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