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Sutirtha Roy

Newborns in crisis: An outline of neonatal ethical dilemmas in humanitarian medicine

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Thanks for sharing this paper about newborns in humanitarian crises.

To expand the topic, I qoute the abstract below:


Newborn infants are among those most severely affected by humanitarian crises. Aid organisations increasingly recognise the necessity to provide for the medical needs of newborns, however, this may generate distinctive ethical questions for those pro- viding humanitarian medical care. Medical ethical approaches to neonatal care famil- iar in other settings may not be appropriate given the diversity and volatility of humanitarian disasters, and the extreme resource limitations commonly faced by humanitarian aid missions. In this paper, we first systematically review existing guide- lines relating to the treatment and resuscitation of newborns in humanitarian crises, finding little substantive ethical guidance for those providing humanitarian health- care. We next draw on paradigm cases and published literature to identify and de- scribe some of the major ethical questions common to these settings. We divide these questions into quality of life considerations, allocation of limited resources, and conflicting cultural norms and values. We finally suggest some preliminary recom- mendations to guide ethical decision-making around resuscitation of newborns and withdrawal of treatment in humanitarian settings.


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