The Palliative Care Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital works to enhance the quality of life and reduce the suffering of children and teens who have been diagnosed with what may be a life-threatening illness. Any child who has a serious, possibly life-threatening illness may benefit from working with this team.

Our Palliative Care team recognizes that each family is unique. We work with your child's healthcare team to help you make treatment choices that are right for you and your child. We can provide your family with extra support during a difficult time. We help make sure the goals of your child and family remain at the center of all discussions with your child's healthcare providers.

Services We Provide

We will work with you in whatever way is most helpful to you. Among the services we offer are:

  • Families often choose to take part in a care planning meeting. This meeting can include your child, family members, doctor, home-care nurses and therapists, alternative healthcare providers, school staff, spiritual advisors or any others you want to invite. Together we go over health issues and treatment options. Depending on your family's unique needs and wishes, our discussion can include many other topics. We talk about quality of life and the ways treatment may affect your child's ability to do the things they love. We also talk about ways to get support in your community. A team member takes notes so that you will have a guide to the choices you make and the topics we cover. You can update the notes as often as you need to.

  • We developed the Decision-Making Tool to help your family talk about what is important to you and your child. It also helps make sure that your child's healthcare team understands what you want, how to work with you and how best to care for your child. The tool helps you, your family and your child think about the care you want. It also gives you a plan that you can update as often as you need to. After you review your family's Decision-Making Tool, we place it in your child's chart so that your child's healthcare team can learn about your decisions. Families often work through the tool with us at a care planning meeting. Read more. (PDF)

  • Throughout all phases of treatment, we work closely with families whose children are undergoing complex procedures. Our team works with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance so that every child who has a bone marrow or stem cell transplant has one Palliative Care consultant to work with. We provide a Decision-Making Tool (PDF) for your family, and make it available to everyone who will care for your child.