Intrinsic and extrinsic factors unique to neonatal care can complicate predictions of neurological outcomes for infants who suffer from severe intraventricular hemorrhage. While care decisions are driven by the same bioethical principles used in other domains, neurological prognostication can challenge concepts of futility, require careful examination of parental values, uncover biases and/or potentially compromise the best interests of the future child. In the following chapter we will review bioethical principles and relevant concepts, explore challenges to decision-making surrounding diagnoses of severe intraventricular hemorrhage and conclude with a brief review of practical approaches for counseling parents about neurodevelopmental impairment given the constraints of prognostic uncertainty and assumptions related to quality of life. We will argue that neurological findings alone, even in the setting of severe intraventricular hemorrhage, often do not constitute enough evidence for redirection of care but can be permissible when the entire neonatal condition is considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology