Ethics committees in neonatal care: substantive protection or procedural diversion?

Am J Public Health. 1984 Aug;74(8):843-5. doi: 10.2105/ajph.74.8.843.


KIE: The federal government, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research have all proposed the establishment of hospital ethics committees to solve decision making dilemmas in neonatal as well as other critical care areas. Annas argues that education, consultation, and policy making are inappropriate committee functions and identifies individual case adjudication as the only role uniquely suited to ethics committees. He concludes that the first priority is the development of substantive standards on which committee decisions can be based.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making
  • Ethics Committees, Clinical*
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care*
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • Professional Staff Committees* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Public Policy
  • United States
  • Withholding Treatment