Charter for Children in Hospital
The right to the best possible medical
treatment is a fundamental right, especially for children.
Children shall be admitted to hospital only if the care they
require cannot be equally well provided at home or on a day basis.
Children in hospital shall have the right to have their parents
or parent substitute with them at all times.
Accommodation should be offered to all parents, and they should
be helped and encouraged to stay. Parents should not need to incur
additional costs or suffer loss of income. In order to share in the
care of their child, parents should be kept informed about ward
routine and their active participation encouraged.
Children and parents shall have the right to be informed in a
manner appropriate to age and understanding. Steps should be taken
to mitigate physical or emotional stress.
Children and parents have the right to informed participation in
all decisions involving health care. Every child shall be protected
from unnecessary medical treatment and investigation.
Children shall be cared for together with children who have the
same developmental needs and shall not be admitted to adult wards.
There should be no age restriction for visitors to children in
Children shall have full opportunity for play, recreation and
education suited to their age and condition and shall be in an
environment designed, furnished, staffed and equipped to meet their
Children shall be cared for by staff whose training and skills
enable them to respond to the physical, emotional and developmental
needs of children and families.
Continuity of care should be ensured by the team caring for the
Children shall be treated with tact and understanding and their
privacy shall be respected at all times.
Written by Dr Priscilla Alderson, Reader in Childhood Studies,
Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London,
and adapted by the European Association for Children in Hospital (EACH).
Published in the Bulletin of Medical Ethics, October 1993, Pages