This article recounts the journey of two parents as they make difficult decisions in regards to their premature baby's viability. The couple went through several years of unnatural fertility treatments prior to getting pregnant. Everything was going well with the pregnancy until the wife's 20th week of gestation. Issues started rising. As portrayed at one point in the story, if the physicians had not intervened, the child would mostly have been considered a miscarriage. This article presents the decisions of permitting doctors to intervene or just surrendering in the fight for fetus' life and become part of the horrific statistics. Three weeks and six days later, the baby was delivered because she was not able to sustain in the utero anymore. According to this article, one in every 750 babies are born during a period of gestation where their lives could be considered unviable. Although statistic suggest that babies born of 23 weeks and 6 days have 80% odds of dying or being moderately disabled, 68% of dying or being profound disabled, and 53% of dying or being severely disabled; the physicians left the parents informed, so they can make their own informed decisions.
The issue of ethics rise several times throughout this article. Issues of ethics rose when deciding who deserves to live, when one decides the viability of a fetus, and when one determines what time frame a fetus becomes a human being. When the risks outweigh the benefits in trying to save a baby's life, the issue of ethics also rise. Does one makes the decision of who deserves to live based on statistics and predicted quality of life or just by the sound of the fetal heartbeat? There were several issues that rose throughout this article that were attention crabbing. First, at one point, the article suggests that fighting to save a preemie is sometimes weighed based on the cost that may be needed to sustain preemie's life. It makes it difficult to weigh the cost to one's life since one is working with statistics instead of knowing the definite issues of the fetus. Second, it was interesting and inhuman of the doctor to say that a baby who is 22 weeks should be delivered at home because it is not viable. The question of, "how do we measure life or viability?" is appropriate at this point. According to the article, babies who are 1,000 grams (2 lbs.) or less are considered unviable. When one based viability on something so tangible as weight, it makes the decision to fight for a preemie's life very difficult.
As nurses, it is our duties to make sure that one's patients are well-informed, well-supported as they go through this difficult process. It is one's duties to attend to the parents' physical needs as best that one can, so they can be more emotionally prepared to make their informed decisions. Information should be presented in an unbiased way. Those articles are definitely helpful in aiding nursing students discover where they stand in those clashing views. It also enables one to be more informed and less biased as we are presented with those difficult issues in the clinical setting.