Ethics in Child Health – (Chapter 5) – Evidence-based neonatal neurology (ebook)


Chapter 5 of the book – Evidence-based neonatal neurology: decision-making in conditions

Despite scores of trials, the best ‘evidence’ for the management of a specific clinical dilemma is often lacking, although decisions still need to be made and prognoses still need to be given in the individual situation. In the case scenario presented in this chapter, Chouinard and colleagues demonstrate the complexity of prognostication and end-of-life decision-making for newborn infants with an apparently very poor neurological prognosis, particularly when evidence is not clear and/or is conflicting. The case also highlights the type of evidence that weighs more heavily when there is biomedical uncertainty. The authors discuss both the limits of ‘evidence’ from best studies when such evidence is to be applied to the individual, and the reality that for many of the important questions that parents and practitioners face there is simply no good evidence available. This issue is also discussed in Chapter 6.

About the complete book

Have you ever:

  • Wondered how to deal with a family that repeatedly fails to keep clinic appointments?
  • Disagreed with colleagues over a proposed course of treatment for a child?
  • Considered ways to ‘bump’ a child on a waiting to speed up their assessment?

These are a few of the scenarios faced by clinicians in neurodisability on a daily basis. Ethics in Child Health explores the ethical dimensions of these issues that have either been ignored or not recognised. Each chapter is built around a scenario familiar to clinicians and is discussed with respect to how ethical principles can be utilised to inform decision-making. Useful ‘Themes for Discussion’ are provided at the end of each chapter to help professionals and students develop practical ethical thinking. Ethics in Child Health offers a set of principles that clinicians, social workers and policy-makers can utilise in their respective spheres of influence.


Readership: clinicians and paediatricians in neurodisability, service providers in neurodisability, community-based health professionals,  and health policy makers.

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