An infant has a massive intracranial hemorrhage. She is neurologically devastated and ventilator-dependent. The prognosis for pulmonary or neurologic recovery is bleak. The physicians and parents face a choice: withdraw the ventilator and allow her to die or perform a tracheotomy? The parents cling to hope for recovery. The physician must decide how blunt to be in communicating his own opinions and recommendations. Should the physician try to give just the facts? Or should he also make a recommendation based on his own values? In this article, experts in neonatology, decision-making, and bioethics discuss this situation and the choice that the physician faces.
Clinical Decision-Making; Decision Making; Female; Humans; Infant, Extremely Premature; Infant, Newborn; Intensive Care Units, Neonatal; Neonatologists; Physician's Role; Quality of Life; Resuscitation Orders
Blumenthal-Barby JS, Loftis L, Cummings CL, et al. Should Neonatologists Give Opinions Withdrawing Life-sustaining Treatment?. Pediatrics. 2016;138(6):e20162585. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-2585