Find information on: COVID-19 Vaccine  | New Visitor Guidelines

Pediatric Palliative Care

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is special medical care for people with serious illnesses. Pediatric palliative care is focused on helping patients manage the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness — whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and families. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with the patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care can be started at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be given at the same time as other treatments.

The pediatric palliative care team provides support through:

  • Assisting communication between patients, family members and health care professionals
  • Expert management of pain and other symptoms
  • Help navigating the complexity of the healthcare system
  • Helping families with difficult decisions
  • Emotional and spiritual support for the patient and family
  • Providing access to community services


We serve children with complex medical conditions including:

  • Complex genetic conditions
  • Technology dependent children
  • Home ventilated children
  • Life-limiting diagnoses
  • Complex NICU discharges
  • Non-reparable congenital heart conditions
  • Neurologically devastated children

Support Services

At University Hospital, our palliative care services are committed to to giving children with complex medical needs the highest quality of life possible. Some of our services include:

  • Increasing access to subspecialty care and ancillary services
  • Promoting the development of a transition plan for adolescent and young adults with complex chronic conditions of childhood to move their care to adult care providers
  • When faced with end of life issues, providing palliative care that is coordinated, supportive and congruent with the family’s wishes
Back to Top