Palliative Care : An Area Of Care

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Palliative care in the field of pediatrics is an area of care which aims to improve the quality of life not only for children who have life-threatening illnesses, but also addresses the well-being of their families as they embark on this stressful journey with them. This is done by taking into account four main areas of the patients and their families: psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, and physical. The main goal is to not treat the illness itself, but to help in relieving the suffering of those affected taking into account their body, mind, and spirit.1 Palliative care is still a relatively new field of care in pediatrics, especially in pediatric oncology. Palliative care was originally used in pediatric oncology as strictly end-of-life care, but this form of care is starting to move into the realm of supportive care for these individuals.2,6-8 This is where I plan to focus my study. I am interested to see if the time of implementation of palliative care plays a role not only in the patient and their family’s overall quality of life, but also if there is any link to survival rates of the terminally ill children when palliative care is started earlier and coupled with curative care.
I have chosen to study this topic because the field of pediatric oncology is my passion due to personal experiences in this area of medicine. In the late 1990s, my brother was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor. Unfortunately, after four stressful years of being in and out of
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