Suggestion of recommendations for initiation or not of intensive care in prematures born at the threshold of viability in Brazil / Proposta de recomendações para iniciar ou não cuidados intensivos em recém-nascidos pretermo no limite de viabilidade no Brasil




Despite recent advances in neonatal intensive care, prematures born at less than 25 weeks gestation have high rates of morbidity and mortality. Parents and doctors face difficult decisions concerning instituting and/or continuing resuscitation and intensive care of these babies. This is, therefore, a complex ethical/moral problem with a strong impact on the lives of the surviving prematures and their families, as well as for the heath care system and society. There is increasing interest in regulating and standardizing the care of very premature babies. However, there are significant differences between the protocols used in different countries concerning the decision to resuscitate premature babies that are at the threshold of viability. In Brazil, there is no protocol on this matter. The purpose of this study is to describe the biological, bioethical, economic and legal aspects present in the decisions of resuscitation or not at the threshold of viability and to propose recommendations appropriate to Brazilian conditions. The authors suggest that comfort care measures should be offered to babies of less than 25 weeks and intensive care to those beyond this gestational age. If parents, after detailed discussions and clear information about the medical recommendation for comfort care measures to those between 23 and 25 weeks decide in favor of intensive care measures, it should be provided and rediscussed continually.


recém-nascido teoria da decisão withholding/ withdrawing care medical futility tratamento intensivo neonatal morbidade decision theory/decison making suspensão de tratamento futilidade médica Ética bioethics ciencias da saude infant ethics mortality neonatologia sobrevivência survival premature mortalidade morbidity bioética newborn

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