Document Detail

Ethical decision making in neonatal units--the normative significance of vitality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11547505     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
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.
B S Brinchmann; P Nortvedt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medicine, health care, and philosophy     Volume:  4     ISSN:  1386-7423     ISO Abbreviation:  Med Health Care Philos     Publication Date:  2001  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-09-07     Completed Date:  2001-10-04     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815900     Medline TA:  Med Health Care Philos     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  193-200     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Department of Nursing and Health Care, Centre for Professional Studies, Bodø Regional University, Centre for Medical Ethics, University of Oslo, N-8049 Bodø, Norway.
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MeSH Terms
Decision Making*
Ethics, Medical*
Euthanasia / psychology*
Infant Mortality
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature*
Infant, Premature, Diseases
Intensive Care, Neonatal / standards*
Medical Futility
Parents / psychology
Physician's Role
Qualitative Research

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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