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Stanford Report, October 22, 2003

Documentary on palliative care to be screened at pediatrics grand rounds


Anew documentary called "Making Every Moment Count," which addresses the complex issues surrounding palliative care for children, will be screened at pediatric grand rounds Friday.

The 38-minute video includes footage of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital pediatric palliative care expert Barbara Sourkes, PhD, interviewing a young patient and her older sister.

"The aim of the film is to give an overview of the field, to give a sense of what optimal pediatric palliative care can be and to show how children can talk about end-of-life issues if they’re given the proper support," said Sourkes, the first John A. Kriewall and Elizabeth A. Haehl Director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Packard Children’s Hospital.

Packard’s program, which began in 2001, is one of the first programs in the country that directly addresses the end-of-life needs of children and how those needs affect their parents.

The documentary was directed by psychologist and professional documentary filmmaker Leora Kuttner, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Kuttner is known for her two previous documentaries focusing on pain-control methods for children receiving cancer treatment. She will introduce the film at the grand rounds.

"This is the first time that a film has been made about the field of pediatric palliative care," said Sourkes.

The film, which profiles five children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, includes commentary from professionals experienced in palliative care. Copies of the film will be available at Packard Children’s Hospital for teaching purposes.

The film, which was supported by funding from the National Film Board of Canada and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, also will be shown nationwide in Canada on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program "The Nature of Things," hosted by David Suzuki.

  • WHAT: “Making Every Moment Count”—a documentary about pediatric palliative care

  • WHEN: Friday at 8 a.m.

  • WHERE: Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital auditorium

Program offers comfort, support to dying children and their families (10/17/01)