Date of Award
University Scholars Director
Dr. Christine Chaney
First Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Heidi Monroe
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Dr. Leland Saunders
after-birth abortion, neonatal resuscitation, potential personhood, autonomy, viability
The intense societal debate churning around the moral status of fetuses includes topics such as qualifications for personhood, the role of the autonomous decisions of a fetus’ mother, and the obligations of society to protect fetuses. This paper analyzes extending this discussion to newborns in five sections. The first section presents a literature review of responses to a philosophical paper about the respective interests of parents and fetuses and newborns, elaborating on aspects of personhood and parental decision-making. The second section presents a literature review of medical and nursing discussion around resuscitation for extremely premature newborns, focusing on similar evaluations of the newborn’s interests and the weight of parental decisions. The third section compares and contrasts the themes evident in the foregoing literature reviews, and the fourth section highlights these themes in an examination of two case studies of extremely premature newborns. The final section concludes the multifaceted conversation with a short commentary on the responsibilities inherent in developing and contributing opinions to this societal debate.
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Lindsay, Alison, "Exploring Parental Wishes and Personhood in the Grey Zones of Neonatal Resuscitation" (2019). Honors Projects. 111.
Applied Ethics Commons, Bioethics and Medical Ethics Commons, Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing Commons, Obstetrics and Gynecology Commons, Palliative Care Commons, Pediatric Nursing Commons, Pediatrics Commons