Death Talk: Basic Linguistic Rules And Communication In Perinatal And Paediatric End-of-life Discussions.

Title

Death Talk: Basic Linguistic Rules And Communication In Perinatal And Paediatric End-of-life Discussions.

Creator

Xafis V; Watkins A; Wilkinson D

Publisher

Patient Education And Counseling

Date

2016

Subject

Communication; Death; Decision Making; Female; Humans; Linguistics; Male; Parents/psychology; Pediatrics; Perinatal Death; Pregnancy; Professional-family Relations; Terminal Care/methods; Terminally Ill
Consumer Health Information; Decision-making; End-of-life Care; Health Communication

Description

OBJECTIVE:
This paper considers clinician/parent communication difficulties noted by parents involved in end-of-life decision-making in the light of linguistic theory.

METHODS:
Grice's Cooperative Principle and associated maxims, which enable effective communication, are examined in relation to communication deficiencies that parents have identified when making end-of-life decisions for the child. Examples from the literature are provided to clarify the impact of failing to observe the maxims on parents and on clinician/parent communication.

RESULTS:
Linguistic theory applied to the literature on parental concerns about clinician/parent communication shows that the violation of the maxims of quantity, quality, relation, and manner as well as the stance that some clinicians adopt during discussions with parents impact on clinician/parent communication and lead to distrust, anger, sadness, and long-term difficulties coping with the experience of losing one's child.

CONCLUSION:
Parents have identified communication deficiencies in end-of-life discussions. Relating these communication deficiencies to linguistic theory provides insight into communication difficulties but also solutions.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:
Gaining an understanding of basic linguistic theory that underlies human interactions, gaining insight into the communication deficiencies that parents have identified, and modifying some communication behaviours in light of these with the suggestions made in this article may lead to improved clinician/parent communication.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

May 2016 List

Citation

Xafis V; Watkins A; Wilkinson D, “Death Talk: Basic Linguistic Rules And Communication In Perinatal And Paediatric End-of-life Discussions.,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 28, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/10597.

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