Sibling Death/Loss

The need to assist the brothers and sisters of dying children has been recognized nationally for almost a decade. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine called for improving palliative and end-of-life care for children. As noted in its report, the Institute of Medicine described the lives of healthy brothers and sisters as well as parents of dying children as forever changed. The healthy brothers and sisters also undergo painful changes and loss, with accompanying physical and emotional distress during the death of their sibling. Further, the bereavement following sibling death is associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality, according to L. K. Birenbaum and Betty Davies. Other authors such as Aradhana Bela Sood and colleagues note that because children can experience difficult emotional problems ...

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