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Palliative Care and the Family

  • By: Cynthia J. Bell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Pediatric palliative care is a philosophy of patient care that focuses on reducing suffering while helping children and adolescents with complex medical conditions to live full and meaningful lives. Family-centered care is particularly important when helping a child or adolescent and family adapt to a serious or life-threatening illness. Palliative care respects the individuality of each family's culture while supporting the physical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the seriously ill child or adolescent. This entry discusses the history of palliative care in Western medicine, ethical issues in pediatric life-threatening illness, the components of pediatric palliative care, the desired individual and family health outcomes, recommendations for interventions and programs to promote individual and family well-being, and relevance of palliative care to broader issues of ...

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