Perinatal ethics and decision-making
Research lead: A/Prof Dominic Wilkinson
Developments in diagnostic tests and in life saving interventions raise profound questions for perinatal and neonatal care. A/Prof Wilkinson's research investigates the ethical questions arising from advances in perinatology, including the care of fetuses and newborn infants at the borderline of viability, those diagnosed with severe congenital malformations, and those with acquired brain injury. Ongoing research projects include
- the development of a website and handbook to help parents of critically ill newborn infants make decisions about life-sustaining treatment.
- guidelines for commencing and discontinuing life-sustaining treatment, and the boundaries of parental discretion in decision making in newborn and paediatric intensive care
- a prospective study of end-of-life decision-making for critically ill children and newborn infants in newborn and paediatric intensive care
- what is the place and potential for tissue and organ donation in newborn intensive care?
A/Prof Wilkinson is also actively involved in the development of teaching resources for clinical ethics committees and ethics teaching for trainees in neonatal-perinatal medicine.