Concerning Trend: Palliative Care Only Received in Final Weeks for Many Children – VOCM

Feb 20, 2024

A new report shows that many children in need of palliative care do not receive it until the final weeks or days of their lives.

Cardus’ “The State of Pediatric Palliative Care in Canada” report says there is a misconception among Canadians that palliative care is only at the very end of a person’s life.

Rebecca Vachon, Health Program Director at Cardus, says palliative care should instead begin upon diagnosis of a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, especially for children.

She says the trend is concerning that children are only receiving that care at the very end, which is disproportionately seen in rural and Indigenous communities.

Vachon says despite the findings, there are some positive signs.

She says there has been an increase in specialty palliative care programs and facilities such as hospices, but unfortunately, they are mostly in urban centres.

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