Palliative care in Pediatrics

Pediatric palliative and/or hospice care is both a philosophy and an organized method for delivering individualized care to children with life-threatening conditions. This care focuses on enhancing quality of life for the child and family, preventing and/or minimizing suffering, optimizing function, and providing opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. As such, it can be provided along with concurrent life-prolonging or curative care or as the main focus of care. Pediatric palliative and/or hospice care is achieved through a combination of active and compassionate therapies intended to comfort and support the child, as well as family members and other significant people in the child’s life. Effective management of pain and other distressing symptoms, together with psychosocial and spiritual care, are of critical importance beginning at diagnosis and continuing throughout the entire course of a child’s life and beyond. Therapies should take a holistic approach, assisting children and families in fulfilling their physical, psychological, social, developmental, educational and spiritual goals while remaining sensitive to personal, cultural and religious values, beliefs and practices.

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