SickKids CCU Palliative Care workshop

On May 14, we joined Stephen Jenkinson and Dr Christine Newman for a 45 minute discussion with SickKids ICU fellows on the topic of doctors communicating with parents about death and dying. The description of the event included: talking about death to families, good and bad death experiences, spiritual and cultural influences, impact on the caregivers. I gave a short recap of Sasha's difficult CCU journey and some communication challenges we perceived with the full focus of our questions often bearing down on the nurses at the bedside. Mom shared with CCU that she wished there had been an up front discussion that Sasha was dying and that Palliative Care was brought in earlier. We both spoke of the importance of planning a good death during end of life discussions as some parent's final and appropriate focus on quality of life for a terminally ill child.

The session was filmed by Tim Wilson for a documentary on paediatric palliative care and Stephen Jenkinson's insights into living our dying. The previous day Tim visited our house and filmed us talking about Sasha's journey through SickKids and then our return home to die.

We thank Dr Scott Simpson for inviting palliative care into SickKids CCU for focused attention and discussion and Dr Peter Cox, ICU clinical director, for supporting our visit.

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