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Current Pediatric Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-3963
ISSN (Online): 1875-6336

The Peri-Viable Baby Down Under - An Australian Perspective on the "Grey Zone" of Viability

Author(s): Risha Bhatia, Lex W Doyle and Peter G Davis

Volume 9 , Issue 1 , 2013

Page: [9 - 15] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1573396311309010003

Price: $65


Australia is a prosperous, culturally diverse country where respect for quality of life, freedom of speech and religion as well as equal opportunities for all, are values that rank highly amongst society. Its unique physical geography and population distribution continually challenge the health-care system. There are high expectations by both health care providers as well as consumers when emotive issues surrounding the care of a vulnerable infant arise. The care of the periviable infant is one such issue. Moral dilemmas arise from providing intensive care to extremely preterm infants. How far should we, as health care professionals go to preserve life? Should we continue to provide aggressive life-sustaining treatments with the knowledge that there will be some babies and families who will experience significant disability, emotional suffering and financial hardship? In a society such as this, and while uncertainty surrounding survival and morbidity, varying methods of management, and the differing professional and personal views of health professionals, parents, and arbiters of law exist, the care of the peri-viable infant will continue to remain a challenge. This paper aims to describe how Australia’s laws and social and medical practices have allowed us to manage infants born in the “grey zone” of viability.

Keywords: Ethics, grey zone, peri-viability, prematurity

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