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Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2007 Sep;8(3):212-219.

Pediatric End-of-Life Issues and Palliative Care.

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  • 1Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Attending Physician, Division of Pediatric Critical Care, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago IL, Associate Physician, Section on Clinical Research, Buehler Center on Aging, Northwestern University, Telephone: 773-880-8319, Facsimile: 773-880-4057.


Optimizing the quality of medical care at the end of life has achieved national status as an important health care goal. Palliative care, a comprehensive approach to treating the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs of patients and their families facing life-limiting illnesses, requires the coordinated efforts of a multidisciplinary group of caregivers. Understanding the basic principles of palliative care can aid emergency department staff in identifying patients who could benefit from palliative care services and in managing the challenging situations that arise when such patients present to the hospital for care.In this article we present the overall philosophy of pediatric palliative care, describe key elements of quality palliative care, and identify additional referral sources readers can access for more information.

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