To show our humanness--relational and communicative competence in pediatric palliative care

Bioethics Forum. 2002;18(3-4):23-8.


The death of a child is perhaps the worst tragedy a family ever has to endure. The communication that occurs among children, parents, and healthcare professionals at the end of a child's life must be grounded in caring, and compassionate relationships. These relationships require particular skills, knowledge and attitudes that are not fully addressed in many approaches to communication training currently available to practitioners. This essay proposes elements of a pedagogy for relational and communicative competence in pediatric palliative care that is rooted in ethical and ethnographic principles.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication*
  • Culture
  • Empathy
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Professional-Family Relations*
  • Terminal Care*