In the last few years there has been intense debate in Italy on administration of life-prolonging treatment to premature babies at the edge of viability. In 2006, a group of experts based in Florence drafted recommendations known as Carta di Firenze (CdF) for responsible use of intensive care for premature infants between 22 and 25 weeks of gestational age (GA). The CdF was later endorsed by several medicoprofessional associations, but was followed by recommendations by the Ministry of Health mandating resuscitation for all premature babies regardless of GA and parental consent. Recent statements from medicoprofessional bodies seem to show that the ‘always resuscitate rule’ is not supported by many Italian doctors. We argue that ethically sensitive issues in medicine should be regulated with, and not against, the medical profession and its representative bodies.
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Competing interests None.
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