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Ethical Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care 

Ethical Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care
Chapter:
Ethical Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care
Source:
Pediatric Ethics: Protecting the Interests of Children
Author(s):

Alan R. Fleischman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199354474.003.0004

This chapter begins with a brief history of how healthcare decisions have been made for critically ill newborns since the 1960s. Through case examples, it describes the ethical concerns and examines analytic approaches that help clinicians and parents make hard choices for their critically ill and dying newborns. The principle of “best interests” is examined and its utility and limitations described. The use of infant bioethics committees and consultants is described with examples of how they work. The chapter also covers the important role of government neonatal decision making including the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research, the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act Amendments of 1984, and the Baby Doe Rules.

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