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Artificial nutrition and hydration for children and young people towards end of life: consensus guidelines across four specialist paediatric palliative care centres

Abstract

There is a paucity of evidence on the role, use, benefit and challenges of artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) in children at end of life. Parents express the difficulty they face with making the decision to withdraw ANH. Decision-making on the role of ANH in an individual child requires careful multidisciplinary team deliberation and clear goals of care with children and families. Four paediatric palliative care specialist centres reviewed the current literature and developed consensus guidelines on ANH at end of life. These guidelines seek to provide a practical approach to clinical decision-making on the role of ANH in a child or young person entering the end-of-life phase.

  • artificial nutrition
  • hydration
  • end of life care
  • palliative care
  • children
  • young people
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