Hospice and palliative medicine are often thought to be equivalent although they have distinct differences. Pediatric patients may receive hospice care and curative therapies concurrently. Hospice and palliative care are both holistic, values-based, family-centric interdisciplinary care models incorporating expertise in symptom management, values-centered communication, and end-of-life care.

After completing this article, readers should be able to:

  1. Articulate the difference between hospice and palliative care benefits available to minors.

  2. Articulate opportunities for pediatric palliative care or hospice consultation.

  3. Identify resources for improving end-of-life communication and care.

  4. Describe 3 practices that support grieving families.

“Pediatric palliative care is the active total care of the child’s body, mind, and spirit, and also involves giving support to the family. It begins when illness is diagnosed and continues regardless of whether or not a child receives treatment directed at the disease.” —World Health Organization (1998) (1)

Hospice and palliative medicine (HPM) physicians specialize...

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