KIDS WITH CANCER
ANCHOR LEAD: SOME PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH TERMINAL CANCER ADMIT THEY’VE CONSIDERED HASTENING THE END, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Perhaps nothing is so horrifying as a child’s death, unless it’s watching them suffer from cancer as they die. A study in the March 2010 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine of 141 parents who had had a child die of cancer established that about 10% of them considered hastening the death of their child. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, comments.
NELSON: One of the things that was emphasized in the study was that a number of the parents would have actually considered hastening the death of the child if they thought that the child had been in uncontrolled pain. And I think there’s been a lot of emphasis on that particular small point. The stronger point was that basically all the parents felt that controlling pain along with dignity and independence, were critically important at the end of life even in children. :25
Nelson says the study illustrates a need for everyone to be sensitive to end of life issues, especially with regard to pain control. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.