Pediatric Palliative Care: A Reflection on Terminology

The difficulties around the definition and terminology arise from problems in separating it from other concepts such as supportive care, constructs such as “palliative care is only about dying", or, in children, the rather vague use of terms like life-threatening and life-limiting diseases. These weaknesses have been recognized and important steps have been taken. This review discusses current definitions as well as efforts to overcome their weaknesses and make the term palliative care — for both children and adults — more intelligible.


The introduction of palliative care often occurs late in the course of an illness that would require a palliative care approach, regardless of whether the patient is a child or an adult. Several reasons for this can be given; one of them is linked with the difficulty of understanding the definition and concept of palliative care, not only for laypeople but also for health care providers.

Sist oppdatert 07.03.2023