Ethical Issues Related to Extreme Prematurity

Kam Wa Wong, Kwai Ping Lorna Suen, Helen Yue Lai Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Advances in medical technology have increased treatment modalities for premature infants and have greatly improved their survival and clinical outcomes. However, saving the lives of extremely premature infants has become an ethical dilemma, considering the potential undesirable consequences on the baby and the family as a result of the intensive life-support efforts. The authors draw on 2 case scenarios to illustrate the limitations of advanced medical technology on extremely premature infants who experience significant morbidities and mortality. The ethical discussion concerns the doctrines of the sanctity of life and the quality of life, with emphasis on the best interest of the infant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-229
Number of pages3
JournalICU Director
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • dilemma
  • ethics
  • NICU
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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