What We talk about When We Talk about Ethics

Hastings Center Report 44 (s1):40-44 (2014)
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I was recently invited to talk about ethics with the staff of a level‐three neonatal intensive care unit. They presented a case featuring a full‐term baby born by emergency caesarean‐section after a cord prolapse that caused prolonged anoxia. Her initial pH was 6.7. She was intubated and resuscitated in the delivery room. Her Apgar score remained at 1 for ten minutes. Further evaluation over the next two days revealed severe brain damage. Her prognosis was dismal.The doctors recommended a do‐not‐resuscitate order. The parents agreed. The doctors suggested a gastrostomy tube. The parents disagreed. Instead, they requested that fluid and nutrition be discontinued. The emotions in the room, as we started to discuss the case, were strong and discordant. Eventually, the conversation wound down. They turned, expectantly, to the visiting bioethicist.



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Citations of this work

Trauma-Informed Ethics and Relational Health.James Duffee - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (5):62-65.
Teaching Ethics to Professional Scientists.Ann Boyd - 2015 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 25 (2):38-41.

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