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Dr Daniel Nuzum highlights the importance of perinatal palliative care and spirituality at All Island Children’s Palliative Care Conference

30 Apr 2024
Dr Daniel Nuzum delivering his invited talk at the Children’s Palliative Care Conference 2024. Photo: Conference organisers

Dr Daniel Nuzum was invited speaker at the 6th All Island Children’s Palliative Care Conference, presenting on ‘Perinatal palliative care: spirituality, care and memory’.

His presentation included research and practice from work over many years at the Pregnancy Loss Research Group (PLRG), as well as practice from spiritual care education at Cork University Hospitals Group and Marymount University Hospital & Hospice. Daniel highlighted the importance of comprehensive baby and family-centred perinatal palliative care from the point of diagnosis of a life-limiting condition and affirmed the skills and expertise developed in Ireland over many years in this area. Drawing on his experience and practice as a specialist spiritual care educator in Clinical Pastoral Education, Daniel highlighted the place and importance of spirituality in perinatal palliative care and more widely in paediatric care. Integrated into the talk was an interactive spiritual practice. Participants created a memento inspired by a child they had cared for who taught them about spirituality and life.

The session was co-chaired by Dr Mary Devins, Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Care Medicine, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin, and Paula Whelan, CEO, Irish Hospice Foundation. Commenting on the presentation Dr Devins said:

Daniel’s presentation was both deeply moving and highly inspiring. He helped to demystify the ‘elephant in the room’ and reassure us all that Spirituality is everyone’s business & it is not too personal to ask questions. Spirituality is what makes ‘me me’ and what makes ‘you you’ so is an integral part of our being. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the presentation. Thank you Daniel!

Dr Nuzum and Professor Keelin O’Donoghue were co-authors on the first perinatal palliative care chapter in the Oxford Textbook of Children’s Palliative Care, published in 2021. Daniel cited a range of research during his invited talk, including work led by Dr Peter Jackson on experiences of pregnancy following a diagnosis of fatal fetal anomaly, and work led by Orla Jennings on siblings’ grief following perinatal death. Read more about our research and publications around perinatal palliative care and spirituality on our website.

The 6th All Ireland Children’s Palliative Care Conference “Challenging the Boundaries:
Antenatal to Adulthood” was held on 25-26 April 2024 in the Midlands Park Hotel, Portlaoise. There were more than 240 delegates from many disciplines involved in children’s palliative care across the island of Ireland and beyond. The conference was organised by the following organisations: Children’s Health Ireland, LauraLynn, All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Irish Association for Palliative Care, Health Service Executive, Irish Hospice Foundation, Jack & Jill Foundation and Department of Health Northern Ireland.

Men speaking at a podium with a large screen to the right of the photo

Photo: Tyrone Horne

Coloured pipe cleaners twisted into different shapes across three grey panels

Some of the amazing creations by attendees as part of a spiritual practice in Daniel’s presentation at the Children’s Palliative Care Conference 2024

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,