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Comment & Response
February 2015

Ethics and Etiquette in Neonatal Intensive CareThe Value of Parents’ Engagement in Everyday Ethics and Recommendations for Further Advancing the Field

Author Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy
  • 2Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(2):190. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.2958

To the Editor We read the special communication by Janvier and Lantos1 recently published in JAMA Pediatrics with great interest and wholeheartedly agree that “when families voice their dissatisfaction with the NICU, it is often not because they think their baby has not received good medical care. Instead, it is because the parents’ needs have not been acknowledged and addressed.” To meet this challenge, the authors developed an etiquette-based systematic approach for physician-parent communication in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). These practical guidelines may improve medical encounters by allowing parents to be actively engaged as they experience a challenging NICU stay. These findings are timely and relevant to the aims of pediatrics and the increasing call for patient and family engagement in health care. Partnering with parents and improving socioemotional outcomes has been recently endorsed in a policy statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.2

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