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End-of-Life Decision-Making in Pediatric Oncology 

End-of-Life Decision-Making in Pediatric Oncology
Chapter:
End-of-Life Decision-Making in Pediatric Oncology
Author(s):

Deborah A. Lafond

, and Katherine Patterson Kelly

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190862374.003.0061
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date: 18 October 2019

Decision-making for parents facing the serious illness of a child is difficult, particularly when facing end-of-life decisions. Healthcare providers can influence patients’ and parents’ end-of-life decision-making involvement by communication style and timing of the discussion. Children and adolescents need assistance making decisions based on their cognitive development, which necessitates the assessment of each patient’s competence and preference for decision involvement. Competence and preference for decision-making should also be explored for parents and other surrogate decision-makers. Preferences for treatment should be balanced between the child or adolescent and the caregiver or surrogate. Nurses have a professional responsibility to facilitate informed patient and surrogate decision-making at the end of life.

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