Communication vignettes: Telling a child that her dad is dying

Vicky Robinson

  • Abstract

    Traditionally, palliative care emergencies are associated with physical, often reversible, clinical signs (e.g. spinal cord compression and hypercalcaemia). However, palliative care practitioners can sometimes find themselves in a situation where there is an urgent need to communicate with a family member or friend of a terminally ill patient (Pickering and George, 2007). Nurses working in hospitals, care homes and community settings are often involved in end-of-life conversations and thereby play an important role supporting families facing loss (Jeffreys, 2005).

  • Contributors

    Vicky Robinson


    Correct at article publish date

    Vicky Robinson, Consultant Nurse in Palliative Care, and Nathalie Asmall, Psychotherapist, Psycho-Oncology Support Team, Dimbleby Cancer Care, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London. Emails:;

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/01/2012
    • Volume: 2
    • Issue: 1

    Permissions: © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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