Features of Perception of Death by a Seriously Ill Child


The relevance of the study is conditioned upon insufficient coverage of the issue of experiencing and awareness of death by seriously ill children. The studied problems generally concern basic existential issues of the child’s personality and parents and require certain developments regarding the specific features of communicating disappointing news to the child, talking to him about death and directly perceiving this fact, and a certain construction of family relations. The purpose of the article is to study the specific features of perception of death by a seriously ill child. To achieve this goal, the authors rely on the methodology of a systematic approach and use a set of scientific methods, including analysis, synthesis, interrelation, comparison, including systematisation and generalisation. It is established that the perception of death by a seriously ill child depends on age characteristics, the end stage of development of the disease, the level of intellectual development, and their own experience. Scientific sources are analysed and age-related features of the perception of death by a seriously ill child are demonstrated. Psychological components of awareness and understanding of the fact of the death by a child at the end stage of the development of the disease are identified, considering his age. The article describes the specific features of attitudes to the death of seriously ill children at the cognitive, emotional and behavioural levels. It is demonstrated that information about the approach of death can lead to changes in fundamental ideas about the constancy and safety of a child’s life. Prospects for further research are focused on developing methodological recommendations for parents and doctors to support a seriously ill child, considering his “view of the world”, personality in order to saturate life with positive moments

Keywords: sphases of death perception, age features, emotional state, behavioural and cognitive aspect, fear, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder