The 2013 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement “Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice Care: Commitments, Guidelines, and Recommendations” urges broader integration of palliative care into overall medical care plans not only for terminally ill infants and children but also for those with life-threatening or life-shortening illnesses. Despite supportive federal legislation, the AAP recommendations have not been implemented consistently because of inadequate training, lack of funding, entrenched professional attitudes, and lack of an evidence base for assessments and interventions. To overcome these barriers, pediatric health care clinicians should educate themselves, their patients, their practices, and their health care systems on the benefits of earlier palliative care intervention.

During the past decade the field of pediatric palliative care (PPC) has transformed. Palliative care services, once thought to be suitable only for patients in the last stages of life or reserved for patients engaging hospice services, are now being used much more...

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