Ethical decision making in neonatal units--the normative significance of vitality

Title

Ethical decision making in neonatal units--the normative significance of vitality

Creator

Brinchmann BS; Nortvedt P

Identifier

Publisher

Medicine, Health Care & Philosophy

Date

2001

Subject

Decision Making; Ethics Medical; Euthanasia/px [Psychology]; Infant Premature; Intensive Care Neonatal/st [Standards]; Female; Humans; Infant Mortality; Infant Newborn; Infant Premature Diseases; Male; Medical Futility; Norway; Parents/px [Psychology]; Physician's Role; Qualitative Research

Description

This article will be concerned with the phenomenon of vitality, which emerged as one of the main findings in a larger grounded theory study about life and death decisions in hospitals' neonatal units. Definite signs showing the new-born infant's energy and vigour contributed to the clinician's judgements about life expectancy and the continuation or termination of medical treatment. In this paper we will discuss the normative importance of vitality as a diagnostic cue and will argue that vitality, as a sign perceived by doctors and nurses, has moral significance and represents a legitimate contribution to clinical decision-making in difficult cases where the child's life is at stake. We will argue that these clinical intuitions can be justified on a moral basis but only with certain qualifications that accounts for a certain objectivity and intersubjective reliability in the therapeutic judgements.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

January 2018 List

Collection

Citation

Brinchmann BS; Nortvedt P, “Ethical decision making in neonatal units--the normative significance of vitality,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 3, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/11249.

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