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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Apr;18(2):93-8. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2012.10.008. Epub 2012 Dec 4.

Can we truly offer a choice of place of death in neonatal palliative care?

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  • 1The Louis Dundas Centre for Children's Palliative Care, Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK.


In the developed world, more than 90% of neonatal deaths occur in hospital and most deaths on the neonatal unit follow the planned withdrawal of ventilation. In this paper we look at what choices of place of death can be considered, the support that is available outside the hospital environment and the practicalities of achieving parental choice. We conclude that choices of place of death are usually possible, although there may be practical or resource restraints that affect which choices are available or can be achieved. Where choice is currently offered, the proportion of hospital deaths is much lower than national statistics suggest. Sadly, it is likely that the high proportion of hospital deaths currently reported reflects not that choice is unavailable, but that choice is not offered.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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