Day 253. The hardest decision

In April 2013 on April 22, 2013 at 8:57 pm


The birth of a new baby, what a joyous and wonderful occasion it is.

For a small proportion of births, the joy is accompanied by the need to make very difficult decisions regarding the life of that child.

When babies are born very prematurely or after long and difficult deliveries, they can face many and complex health problems which need to be managed in the very short term and – if they survive – for the duration of their lives.

Newborn intensive care specialist and ethicist Dominic Wilkinson sees many families and doctors struggle with life and death decisions regarding very sick babies. His new book ‘Death or Disability? The ‘Carmentis Machine’ and decision-making for critically ill children’ tackles the very difficult topic of how to decide whether babies with severe and multiple disabilities should be medically supported, or allowed to die.

Here’s a Science Story I wrote regarding the launch of Dominic’s book for the Robinson Institute.

[image thanks to _-0-_ on flickr]


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