Decision-making for extremely immature preterm infants at the margins of viability is ethically, professionally, and emotionally complicated. A standard for prenatal consultation should be developed incorporating assessment of parental decision-making preferences and styles, a communication process involving a reciprocal exchange of information, and effective strategies for decisional deliberation, guided by and consistent with parental moral framework. Professional caregivers providing perinatal consultations or end-of-life counseling for extremely preterm infants should be sensitive to these issues and be taught flexibility in counseling techniques adhering to consistent guidelines. Emphasis must shift away from physician beliefs and behaviors about the boundaries of viability.
- Extreme prematurity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology