This article explores the concept and role of hope in children’s palliative care, the ethical and legal issues that affect the reality of giving hope to families and the implications for practice. The death of a child in Western society is an unnatural event that no parent ever expects to experience. The best children’s palliative care is defined as an active and total approach to care, from the point of diagnosis or recognition, throughout the child’s life, death and beyond. It embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements, and focuses on the enhancement of quality of life for the child and support for the family. The articles discusses how hope is essential for the families and that there is a strong link between hope and quality of life. ...view middle of the document...
The fact that parents may not be ready to acknowledge that their child has an incurable condition or is going to die should not detract from the healthcare worker’s duty to be as honest as possible. The research in this article has shown that parents feel it is important that they receive sensitive and caring communication including frank discussions to prepare them for the dying process. In conclusion of this article, hope is an important factor for parents facing the death of a child, and that the healthcare worker is there to remind parents that hope is what they need and that very rarely is a situation completely hopeless. There is usually an intervention, whether medical or psychosocial or spiritual that may improve their quality of life. Families need to know that everything that can be done is being done and that the door is always open should a miracle cure become available.
The family problem is the loss of a child and how palliative care can help. As for demographics, the article only addresses Western society and 40,000 children in England may require access to palliative care annually. This issue causes the family severe grief, feelings of hopelessness, anger and much more. The family as a whole takes on the illness together. If the ill person is having a bad day then the family is having a bad day and if the ill person is having a good day then the family is having a good day. Family members provide the majority of care for ill person. Family members carry many burdens when a family member is dying, including ill health, difficulty sleeping, little time to meet their own needs, fear, anxiety, insecurity, financial concerns, and loss of physical closeness to a spouse and lack of support from other family.
Smith, H. (2014). Giving hope to families in palliative care and implications for practice.
Nursing Children and Young People; 26 (5): 21-25.