Dziegielewski © 2011
An 8-year-old is hospitalized and in need of a blood transfusion, however, the client’s parents are refusing to get
medical treatment for their child. The parents state the reason for this refusal is related to their own religious beliefs.
What should the social worker do?
A. respect client right to self-determination
B. report it as a potential case of child abuse
C. further explore options with the parents
D. contact hospital administration and let them decide
Answer is C. Explore options with parents first, so they can make an informed choice and know the ramifications of
their decisions. If they remain firm another course of action may be needed, let medical team decide whether
medically this is required for good medical practice to save the child, and possibly report the case if it is considered
life threatening and the parents refuse. This will open it up for possible legal intervention.
8 year old, needs blood transfusion, religious reasons parents refuse, do first?
A child was sexually abused, Child Protective Services intervened, and the family lost their child. The state took
custody. They have been in therapy and the court thinks it is safe for the child to be returned to the parents. The
social worker is unhappy with this decision and does not believe it is in the best interest of the child. What should
the social worker do?