The Unspeakable Nature of Death & Dying During Childhood: A Silenced Phenomenon in Pediatric Care

Title

The Unspeakable Nature of Death & Dying During Childhood: A Silenced Phenomenon in Pediatric Care

Creator

Campbell S; Moola FJ; Gibson JL; Petch J; Denburg A

Publisher

Omega

Date

2022

Subject

children; euthanasia; youth; attitudes toward death and dying; silence

Description

In pediatric settings, the concept of hope is frequently positioned as a fundamental aspect of care and at odds with the possibility and proximity of death. This arguably fosters silence about death and dying in childhood despite evidence indicating the benefits of open communication at the end of life. In this paper, we describe the unspeakable nature of death and dying in childhood, including its conceptual and clinical causes and dimensions, its persistence, and the associated challenges for children and youth facing critical illnesses, their families, and society. We explore how the tension between hope and death can be reframed and apply our analysis to the context of medical assistance in dying for mature minors in Canada. Considering the lack of related literature, this paper offers initial reflections to form a framework for the unspeakable nature of death and dying in childhood and to advance the crucial need for research.

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

March 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Campbell S; Moola FJ; Gibson JL; Petch J; Denburg A, “The Unspeakable Nature of Death & Dying During Childhood: A Silenced Phenomenon in Pediatric Care,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 29, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17827.

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