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Palliative Care

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Child Refugee and Migrant Health


Palliative care aims to holistically address the serious health-related suffering of children and their families, by relieving pain and other physical symptoms, while also addressing emotional, social, and spiritual concerns. Clear, honest communication and psychosocial support for children, their caregivers, and staff are paramount.

Palliative care promotes comfort and dignity for any child with a serious health problem, regardless of whether their illness can be cured. Palliative care should be started early in the course of illness, continuing throughout the course of treatment, even when the intention of treatment is curative. When treatment which may cure an illness is not possible, palliative care becomes imperative, and should always be provided to a child who is at the end-of-life.

Palliative care can be provided in all settings including in complex humanitarian crises and resource limited environments. All children have a right to symptom relief, and it is never acceptable to leave a child to suffer. The core principles and treatments used in palliative care can be applied to all contexts, irrespective of resource levels.

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Correspondence to Megan Doherty .

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Doherty, M., Esmaili, B.E., Khan, F. (2021). Palliative Care. In: Harkensee, C., Olness, K., Esmaili, B.E. (eds) Child Refugee and Migrant Health. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-74905-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-74906-4

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