Clinical concepts of futility and ethically justified limits on neonatal care: A case presentation of an infant with Apgar scores of 0 at 1, 5, and 10 minutes Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Infant, Premature
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Medical Futility
  • Resuscitation


  • Appropriate length of delivery room resuscitative efforts for infants born without signs of life is controversial. We present the case of a preterm infant with Apgar scores of 0 at 1, 5, and 10 minutes but with a recovered heartbeat at 15 minutes. Using the clinically relevant conceptions of the principle of futility, we examine the ethical justification for the successive decisions to initiate, continue, and ultimately limit care for this patient. This difficult case highlights the importance of understanding the ethical justification for clinical interventions that are made in the neonatal intensive care unit.

publication date

  • April 2006



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1055/s-2006-934095

PubMed ID

  • 16586231

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 159

end page

  • 62


  • 23


  • 3