A Report From Australia: Which Babies Are Too Expensive to Treat?
Bioethics. 1987 Jul; 1(3): 275-283.
The author examines current practices and attitudes of Australian neonatologists regarding the treatment of low birth weight infants. One intensive care unit adheres to criteria of treatment based on weight and its perceived connection with prognosis even when there are available beds and equipment. Another unit treats infants of much lower weight with poorer prognoses. A survey of Australian neonatologists revealed that although most knew of varying practices, over half were opposed to disclosing this knowledge to parents. The physicians were also queried on allocation of resources among infants of varying weights in the units, and on prevention of prematurity. Singer discusses the QALY (quality adjusted life year) and its application in comparing the benefits of resource allocation to neonatal intensive care and to adult care. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Allocation of Resources; Biomedical Technologies; Birth Weight; Hospitals; Infants; Institutional Policies; Intensive Care Units; Knowledge; Life; Low Birth Weight; Newborns; Parents; Physicians; Prematurity; Prognosis; Quality Adjusted Life Years; Quality of Life; Resource Allocation; Scarcity; Selection for Treatment; Survey; Withholding Treatment;
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