An ethical comparison of physical and chemical restraint use in adolescents
Kreshock, Anna Catherine
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The use of restraints on adolescents during times of acute agitation and crisis can be medically necessary. Both chemical and interpersonal physical restraints have appropriate applications in such situations when properly executed by trained professionals as dictated by protocols developed by a physician or licensed practitioner. Physical side effects and risks to a child’s psyche are explored as well as factors which may artificially escalate a crisis, and thereby contribute to unwarranted or misguided restraints, such as caregiver motivations. As adolescents are still developing, even acute treatment plans should be framed with attention to risk to benefit ratio and long term planning. Due to the inherent risks to body and mind involved with both forms of restraints coupled with the propensity for risks associated with misapplication and improper technique, grave consideration must be taken when utilizing these methods with adolescents.
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