When Treatment Fails

When Treatment Fails : How medicine cares for dying children

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Over 50,000 children die of medical causes each year in the U.S. and 85 percent of them do so in hospitals. While great strides have been made in palliative care, many of these children still suffer considerably in the last months of life. Studies have found that pediatricians, who often do not expect to confront death on a frequent basis, and other hospital staff typically feel inadequately trained to manage the situation and are emotionally unprepared for the death. All of the feelings associated with caring for a chronically ill child, guilt, anger, frustration, ambivalence, exhaustion, are magnified when a child's life can no longer be prolonged. When Treatment Fails will be based directly on the voices of those who care for children at the end of their lives, the doctors, nurses, social workers, pastoral counselors, and psychologists. Centered around seven cases, Bearison will elicit and record the stories of these professionals about their experiences caring for a patient. The narratives will illustrate how clinicians coming from different professional roles speak about the biological, psychological, spiritual, and social dimensions of caring for terminally ill patients. Bearison will analyze their ways of making sense and giving meaning to their difficult experiences, unearthing common and distinct themes and issues across disciplines. The book will also identify the ways their interdisciplinary teams facilitate or hinder each others work, and to what extent greater reciprocity can be achieved in providing the highest quality palliative care.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 312 pages
  • 160 x 236.2 x 30.5mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195156129
  • 9780195156126
  • 2,001,826

Review quote

...a remarkable treasure trove of lived experiences of clinicians from which novice and seasoned clinicians may learn and deepen their insight about end-of-life care of children. * JAMA *show more

About David J. Bearison

David J. Bearison's many positions include Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Adjunct Professor of Medical Psychology in Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the College of Physician and Surgeons of Columbia University, and Attending at the Children's Hospital of New York (CHONY), Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. He is a member of the American Psychological Association's Task Force on End-of-Life Issues for Children and Adolescents. He lives with his wife, a pediatric oncologist, in New York City and Croton on Hudson, NY.show more

Table of contents

1. Paediatric end of life care ; 2. Narrative theory, medicine and methods ; 3. Twenty stories about how children die ; 4. Witholding or withdrawing curative treatments ; 5. Pain and suffering ; 6. Staff reacting ; 7. Patients and families reacting ; 8. Conclusionsshow more

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