Children cannot always articulate their own interests or make their own decisions. Children's advocacy is fundamentally an attempt to improve the lives of children. The advocacy effort may be directed either toward improving the outcomes of the decision or the process through which the decision is made.

Children as a class are not well served by the health sector relative to other groups; poor children receive benefits and bear costs unequal to the nonpoor; and there is an unnecessary gap between what our technology is capable of offering and what is actually provided. These facts, in combination with the understanding that child health decisions are frequently made in arenas where the interests of children are not well represented, strongly suggest that child health care decision making can be improved. Children's advocacy offers opportunities for such improvement.

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