Catholic Perspective on Decision-Making for Critically Ill Newborns and Infants
Author(s)Annie B. Friedrich
Jason T. Eberl
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AbstractIn this paper, we discuss the foundational values informing the Catholic perspective on decision-making for critically ill newborns and infants, particularly focusing on the prudent use of medical technologies. Although the Church has consistently affirmed the general good of advances in scientific research and medicine, the technocratic paradigm of medicine may, particularly in cases with severely ill infants, lead to decision-making conflicts and breakdowns in communication between parents and providers. By exploring two paradigm cases, we offer specific practices in which providers can engage to connect with parents and avoid common technologically mediated decision-making conflicts. By focusing on the inherent relationality of all human persons, regardless of debility, and the Christian hope in the life to come, we can make decisions in the midst of the technocratic paradigm without succumbing to it.