Neonatology pp 102-113 | Cite as

Ethical Problems

  • Otwin Linderkamp


“I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.” The Hippocratic Oath expressed beneficence and non-maleficence as basic principles of medical ethics more than 2000 years ago. Beneficence in perinatal and neonatal medicine refers to the responsibility of the physicians to act in the “best interests” of the fetus and newborn infant. Non-maleficence relates to the avoidance of harm to the fetus and infant, but also to the mother. This implies that the benefit of treatments should outweigh the harm and risks of the treatment for the patient.


Down Syndrome Newborn Infant Good Interest Neurodevelopmental Disability Sick Infant 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otwin Linderkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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