The Ethics Of The Infant's Mortality

1769 Words8 Pages
As advances are made in neonatology, healthcare providers and families are faced with difficult decisions about premature neonatal resuscitation. Premature infants are now surviving at lower gestational ages than they have ever before causing an ethical dilemma for physicians, nurse, and parents. Physicians and nurses are upheld by the ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence, while parents may be influenced by spiritual, cultural, moral, and social factors. When making decisions on resuscitation in neonates on the limits of viability, it is important to consider the ethics of the infant’s mortality, mobility including the parental wishes. For the past two decades, the limit of gestational viability has been 22-24 weeks (Bhat, Weinberger, & Hanna, 2012). Around 50 years ago, a premature infant born between 22-24 weeks was not considered viable and resuscitation was only considered at 27-28 weeks (Kushchel & Kent, 2011). Medicine and technology advances have improved neonatology drastically and infants are surviving at lower gestational ages. However, many studies show very low survival rates of 22-week neonates and some physician refuse to resuscitate and provide only comfort care. In the NICHD Neonatal Network between 2003 and 2007, infants that were incubated and resuscitated had a 6% survival rate at 22 weeks and a 55% survival rate at 24 weeks (Bhat et al, 2012). Another study followed a hospital for many years were they delivered 85 infants at 22-week
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