To the Editor: In his editorial1
regarding treatment decisions for seriously ill newborns, Dr Fost distorts
our prior study2 by claiming that "a major
medical center reported that standard treatment was withheld from more than
half of a cohort of infants referred with spina bifida." Our process was undertaken
only after several mothers of older children told us that they wished that
someone had taken the time to discuss with them the long-term implications
of performing surgery on their newborns with spina bifida. The common theme
was that if they had been better informed, they would never have agreed to
the surgery. We thus set up a program to inform parents, to the best of our
ability, of the outlooks for their infants both with and without surgery.
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