It is currently expected that about 20% of children with cancer will ultimately die. Writing advanced life directives sufficiently long before the actual death of a child ensues allows both parents and medical staff to develop optimal treatment plans in the best interests of the child.
The aim of the study was to evaluate factors that may influence the process of decision-making regarding Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) status.
Retrospective single institution study.
Totally, 79 patients died between September 01, 2011 and August 31, 2017. Median age of the children was 10.5 years (range, 1 to 24 y). Forty-five were males. There were 37 Muslims, 27 Jews, 9 Druze, and 6 Christians. Twenty-one patients had sarcomas, 20 had CNS tumors, 10 had neuroblastoma, 17 had leukemias/lymphomas, 11 had carcinomas, and other rare tumors as well as nonmalignant diseases. No statistically significant association between all evaluated factors and DNR order status was found.
It is possible that, other than demographic, clinical-associated, or therapy-associated factors play an important role in the process of decision-making regarding DNR. We feel that sincere communication between parents, their child (when appropriate) and medical and psychosocial staff may have a more crucial role when such decisions have to be made.
Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Reprints: Sergey Postovsky, MD, Pediatric Hematology Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Division, Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, POB 9602, Haifa 31096, Israel (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received April 29, 2018
Accepted October 23, 2018