Improving Patient Care and Experiences


Children and youth, that’s where I work. Through the work that we’ve been doing, we have come to a realization that the frameworks that people generally use in relation to children and youth justify children and youth’s exclusion. Because most people are operating on very outdated models of child development, whereby children’s differences from adults are generally interpreted as deficiencies. So, the children may think differently, may have different priorities is generally interpreted through a lens of immaturity on behalf of the adults that are structuring services for them. Generally, it’s been my experience through some of the children and youth working in our research, have made it very clear. They can see that they’re being spoken to and treated as immature and incapable and they don’t know what’s right or good for them. We realize that maybe some of our premises and some of the theories, some of the models that we use about how we imagine and understand what it is like to be a child who has cancer, what it is like to be a child in palliative care, what it is like to be a child in a psychiatric centre. We assume that what we’re doing is benevolent and caregiving, but theare are dimensions to what we’re doing that might be very oppressive, humiliating, scary and that we perpetuate because we presume that they’re ignorant.


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