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[Your child is dead]

Finlay, Ilora Gillian and Dallimore, D. 1992. [Your child is dead]. Pediatrie 47 (9) , pp. 641-644.

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To determine parents' views on how the death of their child should have been handled, a retrospective questionnaire survey was carried out among parents who had experienced the death of a child: 120 bereaved parents, all members of a charitable organisation of bereaved parents participated voluntarily in the study; 122 children's deaths were described; the largest single group was due to road traffic accidents, 16 were suicides, and eight were murders. Twice as many interviews were rated as sympathetically or reasonably handled than badly or offensively handled (68 vs 34). The interview ratings depended on the sensitivity and personal skills of the interviewers rather than on their previous contact or professional position; police were rated as more sympathetic than doctors and nurses. Of 109 respondents, 81 had seen their child's body, 44 of whom thought that sufficient time had been denied. Of the 28 parents who did not see the body, 17 subsequently stated their regret. In 82 parents, organ donation had not been discussed. Only 16 parents recorded any follow-up support from hospital staff and very few support at the time. The consistency of the responses suggests a serious need to revise the in-service training and education of the police and health professionals in their approach to informing of death; organ donation should be discussed sensitively and parents allowed time with their dead child with fewer restrictions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Language other than English: French
Publisher: Société Provençale de Pédiatrie
ISSN: 0031-4021
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:48

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