• Personally, if the child were mine, I wouldn't want to tell them up until the very end, maybe a few days before they would obviously pass away. Until then, I'd rather make life as pleasant and enjoyable as I could for them, without them having to worry about dying. But, if the end were in sight, I'd talk to them about my religous beliefs and tell them that they were going to heaven to live with Jesus and that while their family would miss them a great deal, they would be at peace with no more pain.
  • I hope with all my heart I'm never in that position, but if I were, I don't think I'd tell them unless they asked.
  • Hell no, be with them as much time as you can and make every moment that have left on this earth as happy as you can for them.
  • Oh boy, what a hard question! I can't even imagine being in that situation. If they were to ask you if their dying straight out, probably yes, but I'm not sure! :o(
  • I think they should know. You can explain it to them in a way that makes them feel better about it. Most of the time they obviously know there is something wrong. Often young children figure it out themselves and wonder why their parents just didn't tell them the truth. Don't they have a right to prepare themselves as we all do for that?
  • You can explain death in a non-scary way, depending on age. Yes, you're going to take a very very long nap, but just like you don't feel like you were asleep long when you go to bed, it won't be long until you wake up with mom and dad and your goldfish and god. Just an example. I write a little fiction and I had a character whose mother was near-death and she hadn't had this explained to her, she thought she was going to get better. Her father finally explained to her that sometimes, just like toys stop working, people stop working too. and you can fix toys, sometimes, but people are more complicated. But, just like you can take broken toys apart and make new toys, the world takes people who've stopped working and makes new dirt, new people, and new flowers. As far as this character is concerned, her mom didn't "die"- she turned into flowers. If the kid is old enough to know what "death" is without an explanation, s/he is probably also old enough to know that all the hushed whispers are bad tidings, and ask outright. I would tell the truth, explain what we're trying to prevent it and stop the pain... but I couldn't lie. Sooner or later s/he be at death's door, do you want some of your kid's final thoughts to be that you lied?
  • Yes, they seem to take it much better than adults and it lets them do what they need to do.
  • I think when people are dying, they know it..children included.
  • Of course.
  • Yes. They NEED to be told. And sooner than "a few days prior" if possible. Children should be communicated to about what is happening to them in a gentle way at the appropriate time. Being left in the dark is more terrifying that the illumination of a truth, however sad. No one wants to walk down that road, but it is, unfortunately and out of necessity, paved well. Health care professionals know well that a family, children included, ought to be involved with care decisions and acknowledging the truth of the situation. "Pediatric palliative care" is an approach which improves the quality of life especially for the littlest of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness, through the prevention, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual problems. "Hospice care," whether delivered in the patient's home or in a healthcare facility, is the provision of humane and compassionate medical, emotional, and spiritual care to the dying. Choosing to participate your child and family with these care options greatly supports the process of readying to let go.
  • Yes. This was an interesting study and the article is worth reading.
  • yes, they should be told and how they should be told depends on the age of the child,although this needs to be done with great care and passion. i believe everyone has a right to know if they are dying, although some children may be too too young to ask questions or understand, whats going on, so there is no point to telling them, but this is their life and their right, and no one has the right to deprive anyone of that, unless they are definately too young to understand, i dont know what age too young is, i guess it depends on the individual child itself, even when you have many different children of the same age, some children advance quicker,so two 3 year olds with cancer may not share the same intelligence or understanding of whas going on,only you know if your child will understand clearly.

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