Heterokairoi – A Time to Live and a Time to Die

Davis, C. S., Snider, M. J., King, L., Shukraft, A., Sonda,  J. D., Hicks, L. and Irvin, L.  (2019) ‘: Heterotopian Spatialities and Temporalities in a Pediatric Palliative Care Team’, Health Communication34 (9) 931-941,

DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2018.1443262


The death of a child creates especially poignant feelings and extreme stress, distress, and devastation for family members and healthcare providers. In addition, serious or long-term illness forces a reconstruction of our experiences with time and space. In this paper, we report on a long-term ethnographic study of a Pediatric Palliative Care Team (PPCT). Using the concepts of spatiality and temporality; Deleuze’s concepts of smooth and striated spaces; Innis’s concepts of space and time biases; Foucault’s concept of heterotopian space—places with multiple layers of meaning; and a related concept of  – —moments in time with multiple possibilities—we consider how the PPCT constructs and reconstructs meaning in the midst of chaos, ethical dilemmas, and heartbreaking choices.