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Good enough? Parental decisions to use DIY looping technology to manage type 1 diabetes in children


Johnston, CS, Good enough? Parental decisions to use DIY looping technology to manage type 1 diabetes in children, Monash bioethics review, 39, (Suppl 1) pp. S26-S41. ISSN 1836-6716 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Monash University 2021

DOI: doi:10.1007/s40592-021-00133-5


People are using innovative internet of things technologies to gain individualised management of their type 1 diabetes. The #WeAreNotWaiting movement supports them to build their own hybrid closed loop systems and access their real time blood sugar data via any web connected device. A small number of parents in Australia use such DIY looping systems to manage their child's type 1 diabetes, but these systems have not been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia, creating ethical dilemmas for clinicians about how to respond to the use of medical devices that are not registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. This article considers whether the use of DIY looping is in the best interests of the child and, if not, whether intervention in parental decision making is justified to prevent harm to the child. It addresses the ongoing duty of healthcare professionals to provide care to children who are 'looping.' Reference is made to findings from a study, Personalised Closed Loop Systems for Childhood Diabetes, to illustrate stakeholders' perceptions of benefits and harms of DIY looping systems. I conclude that the decision of parents to use DIY looping technology could be considered to be in a child's best interests, broadly defined, and falls within the Zone of Parental Discretion, however healthcare practitioners who support parents may have professional concerns in doing so.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Medical ethics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Ethics not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Johnston, CS (Dr Carolyn Johnston)
ID Code:152517
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2022-08-19
Last Modified:2022-09-29

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