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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Jun;60(3):725-39. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2013.02.009. Epub 2013 Mar 7.

End-of-life care in pediatrics: ethics, controversies, and optimizing the quality of death.

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Division of Critical Care, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Hospitalized children constitute most annual pediatric deaths in the United States. The details of "how-to" provide end-of-life (EOL) care are not consistently taught to staff and therefore the actual delivery of EOL care is often inconsistent and invariably negatively associated with the long-term mental health of both the patient's family and care providers. This review describes the pertinent aspects of end-of-life care in pediatrics. Finally, a framework to optimize the quality of death is described, which underscores the importance of synchrony between the care team and the family at the end of a child's life.

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