Pediatric Oncologists come face to face with difficulty when it comes to working with families of terminally-ill patients. Even though many children with terminally-ill diseases should be given the same resources as adults to alleviate their pain, about “80% of children dying with cancer in this country are still suffering, and their symptoms are not being adequately palliated (Wolfe, 2000). This problem has negatively impacted the 15,780 children under the age of 19, that are diagnosed with cancer in the United States each year. A possible cause of this problem is that adults do not understand how to deal with a terminally-ill child, especially one whose needs differ from those of an adult who is terminally ill. This research project will investigate how pediatric oncologists deal with terminally-ill patients with the goal of remedying this issue.
I have always taken an interest in the medical field since I was a little kid, always wanting to be a pediatric surgeon. Also being affected by cancer, as it runs in the family, I have always wanted to learn how doctors and families work together when patients are diagnosed as terminally-ill. Through AAR, I was able to combine my passion with my curiosity and learn about how pediatric oncologists and families provide palliative care for terminally-ill children patients.