The best intentions: Newborn technologies and bioethical borderlines

Perri Klass

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This is the story of neonatology or, at least, one side of the story of neonatology: You look for techniques which will allow you to reduce morbidity and mortality in the babies you are already trying to save. You find those techniques. And then you begin to wonder about applying them to babies just over the borderline, a little younger and a little smaller. And you make that jump for good humanitarian reasons-because you see a baby who is struggling to survive, who is almost making it, because a family begs you to try. But also for the other reasons which drive doctors: to be a hero, to see if it can be done, to push the envelope. And then, in their turn, those become the babies you can save-but for whom you would like to improve outcome, and you look for new refinements of that technology. The short history of neonatology is a history of pushing back the borders, whether or not that was the goal of the research; the pace of change means whatever you learned when you trained is by definition obsolete.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Turn to Ethics
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9781135205263
    ISBN (Print)0415922259, 9780415922265
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities
    • General Social Sciences


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