David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (5):393-412 (2007)
There is a broadly held view that neonatologists are ethically obligated to act to override parental nontreatment decisions for imperiled premature newborns when there is a reasonable chance of a good outcome. It is argued here that three types of uncertainty undercut any such general obligation: (1) the vagueness of the boundary at which an infant’s deficits become so intolerable that death could be reasonably preferred; (2) the uncertainty about whether aggressive treatment will result in the survival of a reasonably healthy child or, alternatively, the survival of a child with intolerable deficits; and (3) the inability to determine an acceptable ratio between the likelihoods of those two outcomes. It is argued that the broadly held view accords insufficient weight to the fact that newborn intensive care increases the likelihood of harm to the child by effecting survival with intolerable deficits. Though treatment may offer a reasonable chance of a good outcome, it is argued that there are situations in which neonatologists should nonetheless defer to parental nontreatment decisions.
|Keywords||neonatology NICU ethics newborns ELBW death parental authority pediatrics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Dominic James Wilkinson (2011). A Life Worth Giving? The Threshold for Permissible Withdrawal of Life Support From Disabled Newborn Infants. American Journal of Bioethics 11 (2):20 - 32.
Similar books and articles
Kath M. Melia (2004). Health Care Ethics: Lessons From Intensive Care. Sage Publications.
Tony Hope, John Mcmillan & Elaine Hill (2010). Intensive Care Triage: Priority Should Be Independent of Whether Patients Are Already Receiving Intensive Care. Bioethics 26 (5):259-266.
M. F. Jonas & S. J. Thornley (2011). Smoky Rooms and Fuzzy Harms: How Should the Law Respond to Harmful Parental Practices? Public Health Ethics 4 (2):129-142.
Dominic Wilkinson (2009). The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Intensive Care. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (6):401-410.
Douglas Diekema (2004). Parental Refusals of Medical Treatment: The Harm Principle as Threshold for State Intervention. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (4):243-264.
Joseph DeMarco, Douglas Powell & Douglas Stewart (2011). Best Interest of the Child: Surrogate Decision Making and the Economics of Externalities. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (3):289-298.
Michael Gill, Picu Prometheus: Ethical Issues in the Treatment of Very Sick Children in Paediatric Intensive Care.
Annie Janvier, Karen Lynn Bauer & John D. Lantos (2007). Are Newborns Morally Different From Older Children? Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (5):413-425.
Dominic Wilkinson (2011). Should We Replace Disabled Newborn Infants? Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (3):390-414.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #128,919 of 1,696,650 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #250,122 of 1,696,650 )
How can I increase my downloads?