Fifteen-minute consultation: How to communicate with parents who have a child on life support with no hope of recovery

Title

Fifteen-minute consultation: How to communicate with parents who have a child on life support with no hope of recovery

Creator

Swanepoel A

Publisher

Archives of disease in childhood

Date

2022

Subject

child; psychology; ethics; human; consultation; article; palliative therapy; trust; child psychiatry; counter transference; court; motivational interviewing; transference

Description

A child on life support with no hope of recovery is the worst nightmare for parents and for paediatricians. Unfortunately, some children have illnesses or injuries that are not compatible with life. Being in a vegetative state with no meaningful interaction does not safeguard children from feeling discomfort and pain. Letting nature take its course and allowing the child to die may well be the least worse option. However, this decision is fraught with difficulties for parents and for clinicians and can lead to unnecessary and painful conflict between them, even leading to court proceedings. In this paper, the impact of having a child on life support is discussed and recommendations are given in order to improve professional communication. It is hoped that an understanding of the impact on parents, cultural considerations, and the psychiatric concepts of 'denial', 'projection', the 'meta-level', 'transference', 'countertransference' and the techniques of 'motivational interviewing' will help clinicians prevent a breakdown of trust and improve doctor-parent relationships in these tragic cases. Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

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

August 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Swanepoel A, “Fifteen-minute consultation: How to communicate with parents who have a child on life support with no hope of recovery,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed November 28, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/18187.

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