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Infants who are born extremely prematurely can survive if they receive intensive medical treatment. However, they also have a high chance of dying, and a proportion of survivors have long term health problems and disability. In many parts of the world, if parents request it, an extremely premature infant can receive palliative care rather than active survivalfocused care at birth. But there are variations between countries as to whether or when this is permitted. To help inform ethical debates across Asia and more widely, we present two contrasting views about parental discretion and the treatment of extremely preterm infants. In questions of this nature, disagreement and dissensus is inevitable. Differences in the outcomes of treatment, the resources available, and the values of society mean that we should not expect a uniform approach. We identify points of potential consensus and compromise despite disagreement.


Journal article


Asian Bioethics Review



Publication Date



resuscitation, zone of parental discretion, infant, extremely premature, intensive care, parents