The major ethical problems which confront neonatal paediatricians are :
(i) the problem of resources ;
(ii) the question of informed consent ;
(iii) the use of organs from anencephalic new-born infants for organ donation and the pituitary gland from more mature fetuses for the treatment of Parkinson's disease ;
(iv) the withdrawal, or non-institution, of intensive care for damaged babies.
The judgments in four fairly recent legal cases have had the effect of bringing the law and clinical practice together.
A baby's prognosis is ascertained as accurately as possible using modern imaging and electrophysiological techniques.
The present situations is that treatment does not have to be continued on purely legal grounds.
Several important principles emerge.
First, that physicians should be recognized to be acting in the best interests of their patients.
Secondly, at every stage the physician must weigh the advantages of a proposed course of treatment against its side-effects and complications.
Thirdly, a clear idea of the prognosis, as recognized by the use of scientific techniques and clinical experience, is essential in order to decide how best to proceed.
These are the essence of good clinical practice.
Mots-clés Pascal : Ethique, Soin intensif, Néonatal, Article synthèse, Nouveau né, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Ethics, Intensive care, Neonatal, Review, Newborn, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0253477
Code Inist : 002B30A09. Création : 01/03/1996.