Title

Ethical issues in treatment of babies born at 22 weeks of gestation.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2021

Identifier

DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-320871

Abstract

Many centres now report that more than half of babies born at 22 weeks survive and most survivors are neurocognitively intact. Still, many centres do not offer life-sustaining treatment to babies born this prematurely. Arguments for not offering active treatment reflect concerns about survival rates, rates of neurodevelopmental impairment and cost. In this essay, I examine each of these arguments and find them ethically problematic. I suggest that current data ought to lead to two changes. First, institutional culture should change at institutions that do not offer treatment to babies born at 22 weeks. Second, we need more research to understand best practices for these tiny babies.

Journal Title

Archives of disease in childhood

Volume

106

Issue

12

First Page

1155

Last Page

1157

Keywords

ethics; health care economics and organizations; neonatology; palliative care

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