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Type: Journal article
Title: Gestational ageism
Author: Wilkinson, D.
Citation: JAMA Pediatrics, 2012; 166(6):567-572
Publisher: Amer Medical Assoc
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1072-4710
Statement of
Dominic J.C. Wilkinson
Abstract: Published guidelines for resuscitation of extremely premature infants emphasize the importance of the gestational age of the infant. However, some ethicists and paediatricians have questioned these guidelines, suggesting that this may represent a form of discrimination. A policy of nonresuscitation of elderly patients older than a certain age would constitute a form of ageism and would likely be unacceptable to the broader community. Are resuscitation decisions for premature newborn infants analogous to resuscitation of elderly patients? Are current neonatal resuscitation guidelines discriminatory? This article looks at the relationship between discrimination based on gestational age and chronological age. There are 2 levels of gestational ageism and 2 separate strands of argument against gestational age guidelines. I conclude that resuscitation decisions for premature infants share many features with those for elderly patients, although there are also some relevant differences. I propose the use of gestational age equivalence as an alternative framework for practice.
Keywords: Humans
Resuscitation Orders
Decision Making
Age Factors
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Practice Guidelines as Topic
Rights: © 2012 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.1262
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 5
Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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