A bioethics problem that often presents is knowing who should make the decision regarding resuscitation of neonates with serious medical disorders and whether this decision should correspond to physicians. In relation to this, an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics has addressed this issue (Neonates Resuscitation), after sending a survey to 3000 members of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Perinatal Medicine. A total of 490 neonatologists (16%) responded. The majority (76%) of the physicians that responded stated that a unilateral decision of the physician not to resuscitate should be permissible only in cases in which survival was virtually impossible. A minority (25%) responded that it should be carried out, even if that decision meant the poor neurological development of the neonate. In our opinion, these decisions could have important implications for ethical and clinical practice.

Physicians’ bioethics positions in the USA and Europe