The Fraught Notion of a “Good Death” in Pediatrics

Bryanna Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In this article, I sort through some of the confusion surrounding what constitutes the controversial notion of a “good death” for children. I distinguish, first, between metaphysical and practical disagreements about the notion of a good death, and, second, between accounts of a good death that minimally and maximally promote the dying child’s interests. I propose a narrowed account of the dying child’s interests, because they differ from the interests of non-dying children. Importantly, this account illustrates how disagreements at the end of a child’s life are sometimes the result of a shift from a future to a present-oriented understanding of the child’s interests on the part of some stakeholders but not others, and sometimes the result of a values-based disagreement about how different interests should be weighted. This brings into sharper focus the questions of for whom, and in what way, a child’s death might be considered good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-72
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medicine and Philosophy (United Kingdom)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023


  • childhood
  • death
  • dying
  • end-of-life
  • medical decision-making
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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