Paediatric palliative care: Coming of age in oncology?

Published:April 14, 2008DOI:


      Palliative care in children has been emerging as a clinical subspecialty of paediatrics for many years. It requires the knowledge and experience of a paediatrician, combined with the skills of a palliative care specialist. Both are essential, as a paediatrician may not have advanced knowledge of palliative care and a palliative care specialist is unlikely to be familiar with the complexity of working with families where the child is the patient. This paper reviews recent literature and discusses advances in the development of palliative care services for children and young people with incurable cancer. It highlights key areas where paediatric palliative care differs from that of adults and outlines the barriers to providing palliation and conducting evidence-based research in children and young people dying from cancer.


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