For immediate release
August 8, 2006
Contact:
Emily Lenzner, NPR
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NPR EXPLORES END OF LIFE CARE FOR CHILDREN ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED WEDNESDAY AUGUST 9, 2006

NPR'S MELISSA BLOCK IS GIVEN RARE GLIMPSE INTO THE WORLD OF PEDIATRIC PALLIATIVE CARE AT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

Washington, DC; August 8, 2006 - As palliative care or end of life care programs become more common in hospitals, many are realizing that children should be included and given a voice in that care. NPR's Melissa Block visited one of the country's top pediatric palliative care programs - the Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) - for a rare glimpse inside the world of end of life care for children.

For her two-part report that airs on NPR's All Things Considered tomorrow, Wednesday August 9, Ms. Block spent time with the doctors, nurses and their patients to see first-hand how this kind of care works. The palliative staff's goal is to essentially help their patients and their parents navigate the course of a life threatening disease or chronic condition. At the same time, as she reports, palliative care also involves recognizing that adding time to life may not be as important as adding quality and the importance of being able to speak openly about the often taboo subject of the death of a child.

Says Dr. Chris Feudtner, one of the doctors who helped start CHOP's palliative care program three years ago, in Ms. Block's report: "I think it is still for many people unimaginable to talk about a child dying. And part of what we try to do is create a space, because I don't feel right about the amount of pain and suffering a child is going through."

Melissa Block's 2-part report on pediatric palliative care airs on NPR's All Things Considered, Wednesday August 9 (local station's program schedules are available at www.npr.org/stations). The complete report will be archived and available online at www.NPR.org.