7 doctors weighed in:

Are parents allowed to hide a diagnosis of cancer from a sick child ?

7 doctors weighed in
David Miller
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Notification

Parents are generally "allowed" to do whatever they feel is in the best interest of their child.
This only changes when they do something that is overtly harmful to their child. Assuming the cancer is treatable (as many childhood cancers are), i'm not sure why a parent wouldn't tell the child about their illness. That would certainly make it easier to understand why they're undergoing treatment.

In brief: Notification

Parents are generally "allowed" to do whatever they feel is in the best interest of their child.
This only changes when they do something that is overtly harmful to their child. Assuming the cancer is treatable (as many childhood cancers are), i'm not sure why a parent wouldn't tell the child about their illness. That would certainly make it easier to understand why they're undergoing treatment.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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Dr. Chakshu Gupta
Pathology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Why would you?

Kids deserve to know what's happening to them and are amazingly resilient.
It may be difficult to hide the truth with all the treatment & tests they will need. Outcomes may be better if they are involved in their care.

In brief: Why would you?

Kids deserve to know what's happening to them and are amazingly resilient.
It may be difficult to hide the truth with all the treatment & tests they will need. Outcomes may be better if they are involved in their care.
Dr. Chakshu Gupta
Dr. Chakshu Gupta
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1 comment
Dr. Sahba Ferdowsi
great answer! Wishing you'all the best.
Dr. Scott Diede
Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology

In brief: They will find out

Children are very observant.
They will find out, and if that happens by someone other than their parents and doctors, they will feel a combination of confused, hurt, betrayed, and they will be even more scared than if they were told upfront. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is the right one. Your pediatric oncologist is there to help. Legally speaking, i don't know. I have never hid this.

In brief: They will find out

Children are very observant.
They will find out, and if that happens by someone other than their parents and doctors, they will feel a combination of confused, hurt, betrayed, and they will be even more scared than if they were told upfront. It is not an easy thing to do, but it is the right one. Your pediatric oncologist is there to help. Legally speaking, i don't know. I have never hid this.
Dr. Scott Diede
Dr. Scott Diede
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