Current Content
Volume 35, Number 2
March/April 2009

Continuing Nursing Education
Wish Fulfillment: Palliative Care and End-of-Life Intervention
Bonnie Ewing

Children with life-threatening illnesses are subjected to numerous treatments and procedures. They endure enormous physical and emotional pain as attempts are made to prolong their lives. These children require sensitive care by pediatric nurses who recognize the importance of the child’s need to grow and become. A way to satisfy the child’s desire is the fulfillment of a special wish, which provides a sense of future, a way to be something more. The fulfillment of the wish is a palliative care and end-of-life intervention that can ease suffering and sorrow for the child and family. It is essential to understand, however, that the child has complex emotions as the wish is fulfilled. The provision of care must, therefore, include psychological support, empowerment, and communication with the child and family to assist with life-threatening illnesses as they experience suffering within the tension of living and dying.