The Pediatric Palliative Care Program was created to enhance the quality of life for children with life-limiting illness and their families by providing supportive services. To qualify for the program, the child must be 18 years old or younger, a resident of Massachusetts, and a physician must certify that the child has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition.
Life-limiting illnesses are those illnesses that would limit the normal life expectancy of the child. Examples would include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Severe cerebral palsy
- Major organ failures
- Progressive cancers
- Progressive genetic, neurological, or metabolic disorders.
Unlike hospice care, there is no requirement for a six-month prognosis, and the children may continue with curative treatments.