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Title: Ethical and social issues in the care of the newborn.
Authors: Singh, Meharban
Issue Date: 5-May-2003
Citation: Singh M. Ethical and social issues in the care of the newborn. Indian Journal of Pediatrics. 2003 May; 70(5): 417-20
Abstract: Ethical and social issues are based upon a system of moral values that serve the best interests of the society in a humane and compassionate manner. The ethical decisions should be based upon the well-enunciated principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, parental autonomy, correct medical facts and justice. In view of our economic constraints, we should follow the philosophy of utilatarian ethics based on the concept of "value for money" and focus our resources and efforts for the care of salvageable babies. Nevertheless, we should try to ensure equitable development of health care of neonates at all levels, and NICU facilities should be developed in the country in a phased manner. In order to ensure justice and cost-effectiveness, the narrow principles of "best interest" of the child should be replaced by the concept of global beneficence to the family, society and the state. Neonatologists are often faced with a large number of ethical issues and dilemmas in the care of critically sick newborn babies and they should be resolved jointly by taking nurses, sub-speciality colleagues and family members into confidence. The technology should not be allowed to further dehumanize medicine and we must establish rapport and provide emotional support to the family members by showing our concern, sympathy and compassion in the care of their critically sick and extremely preterm babies. It is desirable that all the medical and nursing schools in the country should initiate regular education programs in the field of behavioural sciences, communication techniques and medical ethics for the benefit of graduate and postgraduate medical and nursing students.
Description: 12 references.
Appears in Collections:Indian Journal of Pediatrics

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