End of Life Issues in Pediatric Patients
Keywords:Informed Consent, Interpreter, DNR, Brain death, Cardiac death, Organ donation
Video recording: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/43-3-8973V
Dealing with end of life issues in pediatric patients is a difficult task due to the young age of the patients, complexities of situations leading to illness, and the multiple decision makers that exist besides parents and guardians. Pediatric patients do not have living wills with specific instructions as to how long a life support system such as a Ventilator or a G-tube (gastrostomy tube for feeding) should continue. The dying pediatric patient has typically not consented to organ donations either. The burden of decision making on the pediatric patient's behalf lies with the parents, guardians, and health care providers of the dying child. This paper deals with these complexities and reflects the author's own experiences in dealing with pediatric patients in her practice for close to four decades.
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