Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Fifteen-minute consultation: Not the whole story-considering children’s spirituality and advance care planning.

In a society of diverse views, faiths and beliefs, what can paediatric palliative care contribute to our understanding of children’s spirituality? By failing to recognise and respond to their spirituality in this work, we risk missing something of profound importance to children and their families. We overlook their search for wholeness in the absence of cure and fall short of offering truly holistic care. This paper explores how developments in advance care planning and related documentation are addressing these issues. Since children’s spirituality is elusive and rarely explored in practice, it aims to clarify our understanding of it with a variety of examples and contains suggestions for hearing the voice of the child amid the needs of parents and professionals.