Department of Neurology

Should parents make the decision to treat?

Q: Our 12 year old son was just diagnosed at a famous clinic as having epilepsy after having 3 seizures in the last 2 years but the treating physicians seem unwilling to make a recommendation about medication. They simply say we will make the right choice which seems designed to reduce future guilt potential. Is this typical?

A: In cases where the decision to treat or to not treat is in the gray zone, it is important to inform the patient and/or family the pros and cons of treatment and seek their input, since starting seizure medications is a major commitment. It is not possible for us to second guess your discussion, but it is unusual for a physician to not make a recommendation whether to treat, since the average person would have difficulty in deciding on their own. Perhaps you should discuss this again as it may be a misunderstanding. If not, you might consider another opinion.


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