Palliative care for a child: role of a primary care doctor

  • CE Tan
  • Radzniwan RM
  • Khairani O
  • Ednin H
Keywords: Palliative care, paediatric, primary health care


A 7-year-old boy with a diagnosis of advanced medulloblastoma refractory to treatment was discharged from hospital for further palliative care at home. During this short and eventful period, the child developed spinal cord compression with progressive weakness of upper and lower limbs, neck pain, faecal and urinary incontinence. This case highlights the important roles of a primary care doctor in the provision of palliative care for a child in the community.


Harris MB. Palliative care in children with cancer: which child and when? J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2004;(32):144-9.

Monterosso L, Kristjanson LJ. Supportive and palliative care needs of families of children who die from cancer: an Australian study. Palliat Med. 2008;22(1):59-69.

A review of developments and challenges in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In: Wright M, Ednin H, Phungrassami T, editors. Hospice and palliative care in Southeast Asia. Oxford University Press; 2010. p. 13-20, 52-5.

Kendall M, Boyd K, Campbell C, et al. How do people with cancer wish to be cared for in primary care? Serial discussion groups of patients and carers. Fam Pract. 2006;23(6):644-50.

Evans R, Stone D, Elwyn G. Organizing palliative care for rural populations: a systematic review of the evidence. Fam Pract. 2003;20(3):304-10.

Guideline Development Group. Clinical Practice Guidelines on Management of Cancer Pain. 2010. MOH/P/PAK/205.10 (GU).

American Academy of Pediatrics. Committee on Bioethics and Committee on Hospital Care. Palliative care for children. Pediatrics. 2000;106(2 part 1):351-7.

Leach MJ. Rapport: a key to treatment success. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2005;11(4):262-5.

Kuttner L. Talking with families when their children are dying. Med Princ Pract. 2007;16(suppl 1):16-20.

Cameron BL, Santos Salas A. Understanding the provision of palliative care in the context of primary health care: qualitative research findings from a pilot study in a community setting in Chile. J Palliat Care. 2009;25(4):275-83.

How to Cite
TanC., RMR., OK., & HE. (2011). Palliative care for a child: role of a primary care doctor. Malaysian Family Physician, 6(1), 3. Retrieved from
Original Articles