Should Long-Term Consequences of NICU Care Be Discussed in Terms of Prognostic Uncertainty or Possible Harm?
AMA Journal of Ethics, August 2017
We will examine several ethical considerations in the resuscitation of infants born at the margin of gestational viability in analyzing a case of preterm labor. More specifically, we will discuss the obligations of physicians in characterizing expected outcomes, both mortality and long-term morbidity, for extremely premature infants and how potential adverse outcomes should be framed-as complications of prematurity itself or as iatrogenic complications of care. We will also explore how the concept of a "trial of therapy" can support parents and neonatologists in decision making concerning withholding or withdrawing care for periviable infants.
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