Speaking to the deceased child: Australian health professional perspectives in paediatric end-of-life care

Article


Forster, Elizabeth M. and Windsor, Carol. 2014. "Speaking to the deceased child: Australian health professional perspectives in paediatric end-of-life care." International Journal of Palliative Nursing. 20 (10), pp. 502-508. https://doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2014.20.10.502
Article Title

Speaking to the deceased child: Australian health professional perspectives in paediatric end-of-life care

ERA Journal ID14090
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsForster, Elizabeth M. (Author) and Windsor, Carol (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Journal Citation20 (10), pp. 502-508
Number of Pages7
Year2014
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1357-6321
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.12968/ijpn.2014.20.10.502
Web Address (URL)http://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/ijpn.2014.20.10.502
Abstract

Supporting a dying child and family surrounding the child's death is one of the most significant and challenging roles undertaken by health professionals in paediatric end-of-life care. An Australian study of parent and health-professional constructions of meanings around post-mortem care and communication revealed the practice of health professionals speaking to a child after death. This practice conveyed respect for the personhood of the deceased child, recognised the presence of the deceased child, and assisted in involving parents in their child's post-mortem care. Such findings illuminate an area of end-of-life-care practice that is not often addressed. Talking to a deceased child appeared to be a socially symbolic practice that may promote a continued bond between parent and child.

KeywordsBereavement; Continuing bonds; End-of-life care; Grief; Paediatric; Parents; Post-mortem care; Australia; Child; Health Personnel; Humans; Nurse-Patient Relations; Parents; Professional-Family Relations; Terminal Care;
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420599. Nursing not elsewhere classified
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Byline AffiliationsQueensland University of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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