Ethical Issues in the NICU: The Importance of Team Education and Preparedness

Jonathan Fanaroff, MD, JD, FAAP, FCLM, associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, co-director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, and director of the Rainbow Center for Pediatric Ethics, discusses the medical, legal, and ethical dilemmas presented by critically ill infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Dr. Fanaroff uses a case-based approach to discuss common ethical dilemmas in the NICU, such as whether to offer feeding tubes to critically ill infants. He also offers strategies for improving communication between members of the health care team and between providers and parents about viability issues, withholding vs withdrawing treatment, and end-of-life care.

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