Sunday, November 4, 2007: 1:30 PM-2:45 PM
Changing the Face of Moral Distress and Futility in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Nursing and Societal Response
Learning Objective #1: Describe situations which cause moral distress for nurses in caring for patients at the end of life
Learning Objective #2: Consider responses such as conscientious objection to the delivery of futile care and introducing the concept of advance directives to perinatology
This session will report the work of a university research group on neonatal ethics. Our theoretical framework is an examination of the technological imperative. Nurses identify the most morally distressing component of their jobs to be providing technological life-support to patients who would better be treated with dignified/loving palliative care. The session will first report our research on palliative care for newborns, what happens to chronically/acutely ill newborns who do not receive palliative care, and the moral distress of NICU nurses asked to deliver care to infants with no hope for an improved outcome. The second part will be potential responses to our findings: 1) an investigation of the use of conscientious objection to nursing care at the end of life which appears to be harmful or increase suffering; and 2) a proposed education package that would change the current practice of teaching about extreme prematurity at the time of an emergent delivery to a paradigm shift which would include education regarding fetal development, viability, and survivorship at every prenatal visit.
Symposium Organizer:Anita J. Catlin, DNSc, FNP, FAAN
Symposium Presenters:Kelly Anderson, RN, BSN
Christine Elaine Armigo, RN, BSN, MSN-Cand
Deborah Volat, Certified, Midwife
 A New Paradigm for Prenatal Education on Prematurity
Anita J. Catlin, DNSc, FNP, FAAN, Christine Elaine Armigo, RN, BSN, MSN-Cand
 Extremely Long Hospitalizations of Newborns in the United States: Data, Descriptions, Dilemmas
Anita J. Catlin, DNSc, FNP, FAAN, Kelly Anderson, RN, BSN
 Is conscientious objection a potential response to technological, life-extending treatments at the end of life which cause suffering rather than offering comfort and dignity?
Anita J. Catlin, DNSc, FNP, FAAN, Deborah Volat, Certified, Midwife