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Quality versus quantity: The complexities of quality of life determinations for neonatal nurses

Journal title
Nursing ethics
Publication year
Green, J.; Darbyshire, P.; Adams, A.; Jackson, D.

BACKGROUND: The ability to save the life of an extremely premature baby has increased substantially over the last decade. This survival, however, can be associated with unfavourable outcomes for both baby and family. Questions are now being asked about quality of life for survivors of extreme prematurity. Quality of life is rightly deemed to be an important consideration in high technology neonatal care; yet, it is notoriously difficult to determine or predict. How does one define and operationalise what is considered to be in the best interest of a surviving extremely premature baby, especially when the full extent of the outcomes might not be known for several years? RESEARCH QUESTION: The research investigates the caregiving dilemmas often faced by neonatal nurses when caring for extremely premature babies. This article explores the issues arising for neonatal nurses when they considered the philosophical and ethical questions about quality of life in babies

Research abstracts