Ethics in the NICU

This is a fascinating article brought to my attention by Barb Farlow, who we interviewed in For the love of Annie.

The role of a pediatric ethics committee in the newborn intensive care unit is published in the Journal of Perinatology this month and looks at ethical issues related to parent authority and best interest of the child. A couple of cases are presented, including one of an infant with Trisomy 13 who needs heart surgery. Historically, this type of surgery wouldn't be performed because Trisomy 13 is associated with early infant mortality. The author notes, however, that early death may be in part because efforts are not made to save these children.