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HCE 601 Ethical, Medical and Legal Issues in Neonatology and Pediatrics (3 credits)

This course will examine the ethical, medical and legal issues surrounding treatment decisions for handicapped neonates and children with medical and genetic anomalies. This will entail examining numerous anomalies and medical conditions that challenge parents and health care professionals to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Various medical conditions and genetics anomalies will be examined such as: spina bifida, anencephaly, Trisomy 13, 18 and 21, Thantophoric Dysplasia, Lesch-Nyan Syndrome, the Ashley Treatment, etc. Various legal developments will be examined such as the federal Child Abuse Law amended in 1984, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Texas Advance Directive Act, etc. and various legal cases will be examined including the Johns Hopkins case, Baby Doe, Baby K, Sun Hudson case, etc. Ethical principles and norms will be analyzed as well as ethical criteria proposed by Bioethicists to assist parents and physicians in making well-reasoned medical decisions that are in the best interest of the child. Special attention will be given to the Groningen Protocol (Netherlands).