Topic Review: Answering the tough questions

How would you express your concern for a child who needs an amputation?

While pediatric limb amputations are rare, their acute and long-term management can be quite lengthy and challenging. As podiatrists, our aim should be focused on stabilization and preservation of the patient’s life. We should provide pain management and antibiotics as necessitated to the child in order to give him/her comfort. Although sometimes unavoidable, our goal in a pediatric amputation should be to preserve as much viable tissue while allowing their bodies to develop as normally as possible. Traumatic limb amputations can have long-term complications such as disability and psychological consequences. Therefore, a multidisciplinary approach should additionally involve a child psychiatrist, nursing staff, and a physiotherapist. As podiatrists, we should strive to preserve as much of the residual limb as possible to ensure the possible application of prosthetics to improve the quality of patient lives.

What is your stance on euthanasia, should a patient have a right to die?

The topic of euthanasia has been at the center of debate for years. However, there are many sides to consider. This topic is surrounded by religious, ethical, and practical considerations. Euthanasia is the termination of a critically ill person’s life in order to relieve their suffering. As healthcare providers, our duty is to prolong life and ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. It is our right to accept that all human beings are to be valued, regardless of age, religion, social status, or their potential for achievement. Therefore, the deliberate act of taking a human life should not be considered. As health care providers, it is our duty to provide proper palliative care, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, in addition to providing support and compassion for friends and or family. Withdrawing and withholding treatment should not be within the scope of practice. In fact, when treatment is available, it should be offered to extend life and relieve pain. Therefore, a doctor should strive to advance life while ensuring the patient is receiving relief from emotional and physical pain with proper palliative care.

By Mariam
California School of Podiatric Medicine
Class of 2021


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