Law and health policy converge with pediatric patient safety incident (PPSI) disclosure. Disclosure is vital for patient safety efforts, while respecting the decision-making autonomy of pediatric patients involves balancing parental and legal obligations with the developing independence of children.
This study examined legislation potentially relevant to PPSI disclosure, along with disclosure policies from organizations providing pediatric care.
Health professionals have limited legislative guidance for disclosing PPSIs and developing institutional policies. Relevant legislation is complex and varies between jurisdictions. Three jurisdictions legislatively require disclosure, including PPSI disclosure to substitute decision makers. In jurisdictions without disclosure legislation, guidance may be obtained from other legislation, including consent and capacity, substitute decision making, and child welfare.
Organizations in jurisdictions with disclosure legislation may be more likely to have policies. Such policies vary between organizations. Within the policies reviewed, PPSI disclosure is based on capacity, made to a substitute decision maker, or not addressed.