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Embracing Bioethics in Neonatal Intensive Care, Part I: Evolving Toward Neonatal Evidence-Based Ethics

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Ethical treatment dilemmas are not new to the NICU. With technologic advances over the past 20 years, NICU care has developed rapidly, and survival rates have improved for some of the tiniest and most critically ill infants. In guiding clinical practice, however, standards in evidenced-based medicine have often superseded standards in evidence-based ethics. Part I of this article presents a historical review of neonatal care and an overview of cases that have set precedents in neonatal ethical debate. It also includes recommendations for enhancing the skills of neonatal nurses as patient advocates in NICU ethical issues, an area that is, at times, controversial and baffling to clinicians.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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