SPECIAL CARE: Medical Decisions at the Beginning of Life by Fred M. Frohock

SPECIAL CARE: Medical Decisions at the Beginning of Life

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Written as a journal, this book records the special world of seriously ill and severely handicapped infants in a neonatal unit of a hospital, and explores in depth some of the ethical and legal questions raised by advanced medical technology and practices. Frohock had been given carte blanche to come and go as he pleased in the intensive-care nursery, observe medical procedures, interview nurses and doctors at length and talk to parents. The result is a vivid eyewitness report on hospital procedures, the skill and compassion of the specially trained staff, and on the tiny patients themselves. Some of these infants may recover; others may survive to be painfully handicapped; still others are terminal cases, being kept alive for a few days, weeks or months by modern medical miracles. And therein lies the dilemma that is at the heart of this book. Who should make the medical decisions for these infants? Who defines ""quality of life""? These are the kinds of heavy questions that Frohock studies in detail against the background of the intense, everyday drama in the nursery. All in all: an eye-opening, thought-provoking book.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Univ. of Chicago Press