Introduction to Pediatric Palliative Care
If you are curious about palliative care, it’s likely that someone on the medical team has introduced the term to you, or has suggested a palliative care consult. Or, perhaps another parent has mentioned or recommended pediatric palliative care (PPC). Sometimes families hesitate to consider palliative care, because they confuse it with hospice care, or believe that it is only related to end of life. But that is not the case. Pediatric palliative care is not hospice care, although it may include hospice care near the end of life. PPC focuses on making each day as good as it can be—whatever that means to your child and family. It is given at the same time as treatment of an illness: sometimes at diagnosis, sometimes as an illness progresses with more complicated decisions, and sometimes when you are facing or thinking about end of life.