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Ethical concerns involving the care of infants at the threshold of viability
Zlatohlávková, Blanka ; Payne, Jan (advisor) ; Hoza, Jozef (referee) ; Kuře, Josef (referee)
Introduction: Resuscitation and intensive care from the 26 weeks of gestation is usually mandatory in developed countries because infants born at this week have a very high chance of survival without severe disabilities. The period between the 22-25 week of gestation is known as the grey zone, during which the results of care are uncertain and unpredictable in advance. Thesis: Decision-making about offering intensive care at the threshold of viability is done in uncertainty, whether or not such treatment is at the best interest of the newborn, for out of principle, it is impossible to predict whether the infant will survive at all and if so, if it will continue to live without severe disability. Viability of the fetus and the newborn: Determining the threshold of viability (the ability to survive outside the uterus) is the initial point in considering medical treatment. Viability depends - aside from the level of maturity of the fetus and its health condition - on the advancement of medical technology. It is also based upon given socio-economical, and cultural factors. The threshold of viability in regard of the possibility to be born alive and survive lies between the 22-24 weeks. An expert agreement on providing active care is based upon the probability of survival and survival without serious...

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