Ethical Issues in Pediatric Palliative Care


Authors: Ayşe Şener Taplak, Gülay Öztaş Sarı, and Sevinç Polat
Page Range: 189-203
Published in: International Journal of Ethics, 17#4
ISSN: 1535-4776

Table of Contents


Despite the advances in technology and medicine in recent years, a significant increase has been observed in the number of families and pediatric patients with chronic and life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses. The total number of children in need of Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) globally each year may be as high as 21 million, and of these, 8 million may have problems that require specialist PPC. Care of children at the end of life frequently involves ethical dilemmas and difficult decisions. These ethical dilemmas often complicate the already challenging circumstances surrounding the death of a child. Ethical dilemmas in pediatrics often surface with a higher intensity than in adult practice because of the unexpected and often unaccepted circumstances surrounding pediatric death. The most common dilemmas in pediatric palliative care are withholding and/or withdrawing medical interventions, and the management of pain and symptom management, parent’s decision making, medical futility, and sedation therapy etc. The aim of this section is to provide information on ethical dilemmas and to summarize the current literature on the subject.

Keywords: children, palliative care, ethic

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