Neonatal end-of-life decisions and bioethical perspectives

Early Hum Dev. 2009 Oct;85(10 Suppl):S21-5. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Sep 23.


In the nineties the EURONIC project documented the staff views and practices regarding ethical decision-making in neonatal intensive care units of eight Western Europe countries: France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. This paper reviews the changes occurred in the ethical and legal background of these countries, and discusses possible influences on neonatal care practices. To a certain extent, many of these changes appear to be in line with the neonatal physicians' views and attitudes previously documented by the EURONIC project, while some are not. Large differences persist within Western Europe on what constitutes appropriate neonatal end-of-life care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bioethical Issues
  • Decision Making / ethics*
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / ethics*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / ethics
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / trends
  • Palliative Care / ethics