Children’s Palliative Care and Human Rights

Palliative care for children with life-limiting illness is the active total care of the child’s body, mind, and spirit. It begins at diagnosis and continues regardless of whether the child receives treatment directed at the disease. It seeks to control all forms of suffering related to the illness, including pain. It involves social, psychological, spiritual, and legal support to siblings, parents, and other close family members. Effective palliative care for children requires health professionals trained to assess symptoms, care for children of different ages and developmental stages, and to provide medicines in pediatric formulations. Care may be provided in tertiary care facilities, community health centers, and at home. The child’s best interest must inform all aspects of the treatment andcare, and the child’s rights must be protected at all times.