[Ethical decisions making in neonatal intensive care. Survey among nursing staff in 2 French centers]

Arch Pediatr. 1997 Jul;4(7):662-70. doi: 10.1016/s0929-693x(97)83370-2.
[Article in French]


A European Concerted Action, Euronic, has been set up to study the attitudes and self-reported practices of the staff working in neonatal intensive care units about parent's information and ethical decisionmaking. This paper presents the results of a preliminary qualitative survey conducted in two French units and including 23 physicians and nurses. The answers indicate that withdrawal of treatments are part of their practices. Parents are never directly involved in the decision-making process. The decision to withdraw life sustaining treatments generate psychological distress among the caregivers. Nurses consider that they are more emotionally involved with the baby and the parents. They express concerns about painful treatments and life-prolonging therapies. Most respondents believe that an ethical committee would be of little help in the decision-making process and that the actual legislation should not be modified as it gives obligation for more in-depth consideration of each case.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Ethics, Nursing*
  • Euthanasia / legislation & jurisprudence
  • France / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Nursing Staff / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parents
  • Quality of Life