Value Every Life

“Paediatric palliative care in its essence is a response to the suffering of a child and a family who are facing life-threatening or life-limiting conditions  It’s holistic, looking at the body, mind and spirit within the social and cultural context.  It cares for the child from the time of diagnosis until death, and after death it does bereavement support for the family ” Joan Marston.

This Accolade Award-winning short film introduces us to the paediatric (pediatric) palliative care and children’s hospice. It features Joan Marston (international Children’s Palliative Care Network) and the staff and children of Sunflower House in Bloemfontein, South Africa.


Regrettably, not all conditions can be cured. However, many children with life-limiting conditions will live for years, if not decades. Currently, 20 Million children around the world can benefit from palliative care, but access to services remains an issue (ICPCN). Children are particularly at risk of inadequate pain management due to age related factors, limited access to

essential medicines and misconceptions about how to effectively treat their pain.  These vulnerable children and families are suffering. They are largely invisible. But for those who are receiving care, the results are extraordinary.

“All of us live in a death-defying society.  None of us like to think about our own dying, even as we get older.  And when we think of a death of a child it seems to go against the laws of nature.  Every child’s life as value.  It doesn’t matter whether that child lives for a day or until they live in their early thirties, every moment is precious and valuable.  And palliative care actually values short lives,” Joan Marston.

Featuring Joan Marston.



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