Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 Jul;25(7):984-91. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.602442. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Ethics in neonatology: a look over Europe.

Author information

  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Porto University, Porto, Portugal.


Advances in perinatal medicine have dramatically improved neonatal survival. End-of-life decision making for newborns with adverse prognosis is an ethical challenge, the ethical issues are controversial and little evidence exists on attitudes and values in Europe.


to assess the attitudes of the neonatal departments in perinatal clinical practice in the hospitals of European countries.


a questionnaire was send to 55 NICUs from 19 European countries.


Forty five (81.8%) NICUs were Level III. Religion was Christian in 90.7% and we observed that in north countries the religion is more influent on clinical decisions (p = 0.032). Gestational age was considered with no significant difference for clinical investment. North countries consider birth weight (p = 0.011) and birth weight plus gestational age (p = 0.024) important for clinical investment. In north countries ethical questions should not prevail when the decision is made (p = 0.049) and from an ethical point of view, there is no difference between withdraw a treatment and do not initiate the treatment (p = 0.029). More hospitals in south countries administer any analgesia (p = 0.007). When the resuscitation is not successful 96.2% provide comfort care.


Our study reveals that cultural and religious differences influenced ethical attitudes in NICUs of the European countries.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center