Sara Portnoy and Di Stubbs

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine


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  • Paediatrics
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No family in western society expects to bury a child. Adults expect to die before children, certainly before their own children or grandchildren. Yet every year 12 500 parents in the UK face the enormous grief of having a precious child die, and it is estimated that around 5000 children and young people experience the death of a sibling. This chapter will describe the impact of a child’s death on families, adults, and children, and will also consider theoretical concepts of grief and grieving, and describe some interventions that may help bereaved families. Although it can seem unimaginable at first, most children and their families will be able to cope with the death of a close family member, especially if the family can talk about what is happening and about their memories of the person who has died, if they can express their feelings and thoughts, and if they have the opportunity to meet others who have been bereaved.

Chapter.  9765 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine

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