How can advance care planning tools help young people's voices be heard?


How can advance care planning tools help young people's voices be heard?


Trang J; Herbert A; Sansom-Daly UM



Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health




child; pediatrics; female; male; human; review; advance care planning; palliative therapy; human experiment; skill; legal aspect; pediatrician; conversation; tension; voice


The integration of the child or young person (CYP) in conversations around advance care planning (ACP) is an important area of paediatric practice. These discussions provide CYP with the opportunity to voice their values, goals and preferences, enabling health-care professionals to ensure they are aligned with their planned course of treatment. This process, often undertaken within the context of the child's family, empowers children to participate in decisions and experience the dignity of self-determination. It also facilitates an increased understanding between the CYP and those involved in their care. The objectives of this paper are to highlight the importance of these conversations for paediatricians and identify barriers, both real and perceived, that may prevent them from engaging with a CYP about their preferences for future care including focusing more on discussion with the parents, and concern about or not having the skills to engage the child in such sensitive conversations. Triggers that can prompt clinicians to undertake ACP are also discussed. A further complexity is that after seeking their perspective, it may become apparent that the CYP may hold different views and perspectives to their parents and/or clinician. This review article will especially examine elements of end-of-life conversations that are critical to support the important goal of listening to the voice of the CYP. This includes considerations around timing, legal aspects, ethical tensions that arise when amplifying a child's voice, clinician/team-member roles, clinical process considerations, and the use of specific interventions and ACP tools to facilitate these conversations with CYP. Copyright © 2022 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (The Royal Australasian College of Physicians).


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Trang J; Herbert A; Sansom-Daly UM, “How can advance care planning tools help young people's voices be heard?,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 18, 2024,