Legal Issues in Treating Critically Ill Newborn Infants
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1993 Summer; 2(3): 295-308.
Conclusion: At present [in Australia], neither the medical profession nor the law gives sufficient guidance to doctors and parents when making decisions about treatment for critically ill newborns. This lack of guidance places parents and doctors at risk of criminal prosecution if they decide that they should not pursue full active measures to preserve a baby's life. Yet, it is commonly accepted practice not to adopt such measures for some severely disabled babies. It is highly undesirable that there should be such a divergence between what the law requires and what is done in hospitals. Also, the community at large has no formal mechanism for supervising or influencing the decision-making process. Guidelines such as those proposed in this paper would assist parents, doctors, and hospitals in decision making and would meet community concerns about the welfare of critically ill newborn infants and how decisions are made.
Advisory Committees; Allowing to Die; Congenital Disorders; Criminal Law; Critically Ill; Decision Making; Drugs; Doctors; Guidelines; Hospitals; Infants; Intention; Judicial Action; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Life; Liability; Minors; Newborns; Organizations; Parents; Patient Care; Physicians; Professional Organizations; Prognosis; Risk; Social Control; Suffering; Treatment Refusal;
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