We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

The Consequences of Uncertainty An Empirical Approach to Medical Decision Making in Neonatal Intensive Care

Allen F. Fischer, MD; David K. Stevenson, MD
JAMA. 1987;258(14):1929-1931. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400140091031.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


BEFORE being struck down, the "Baby Doe" rule generated intense debate among those individuals who were interested in the ethical underpinnings of neonatal intensive care.1 The enormity of the gap between the attempt to regulate physician behavior and the reality in which such regulation was to occur was reflected in the implicit anonymity of the designation, Baby Doe. The treatment of many different conditions affecting individual patients could not possibly be regulated by a few general directives based on the anticipated outcome for the entire group. The ability to predict outcomes for individual, severely disabled infants is limited, even with precise knowledge of the infant's condition at birth.

To understand the difficulty in making decisions regarding the care of extremely premature neonates, it is imperative to understand the complex professional charge of the physician. As set forth in the Hippocratic tradition, the charge has two parts. The first is


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.