Speaking to the deceased child: Australian health professional perspectives in paediatric end-of-life care
Supporting a dying child and family surrounding the child's death is one of the most significant and challenging roles undertaken by health professionals in paediatric end-of-life care. An Australian study of parent and health-professional constructions of meanings around post-mortem care and communication revealed the practice of health professionals speaking to a child after death. This practice conveyed respect for the personhood of the deceased child, recognised the presence of the deceased child, and assisted in involving parents in their child's post-mortem care. Such findings illuminate an area of end-of-life-care practice that is not often addressed. Talking to a deceased child appeared to be a socially symbolic practice that may promote a continued bond between parent and child.
International Journal of Palliative Nursing
Nursing not elsewhere classified