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Children's Palliative Care in Africa$
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Justin Amery

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567966.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Communicating with children and their families

Communicating with children and their families

(p.11) Chapter 2 Communicating with children and their families
Children's Palliative Care in Africa

Justin Amery

Gillian Chowns

Julia Downing

Eunice Garanganga

Linda Ganca

Susie Lapwood

Oxford University Press

This chapter notes that children speak three languages: body language, play language and spoken language. Talk does not solve all problems, but without talk, people are limited in their ability to help. The best way to find out what a child understands and believes is to ask the child. The discussion suggests that one should not underestimate a child: the evidence is that children usually know and understand a great deal more than parents or health workers think. Children who have long-term life-limiting illness generally go through various stages of understanding of illness, death, and dying, but the most important factor in a child's understanding is the child's own experience. It is also immoral, unethical, and legally culpable for a health worker to withhold the truth from children and families who want to hear it.

Keywords:   palliative care, body language, play language, spoken language, communication

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