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Treatment of defective newborns--a survey of paediatricians in Poland.
  1. Z Szawarski,
  2. A Tulczyński
  1. Warsaw University, Poland.


    We report the results of a survey of the attitudes and practices of paediatricians in Warsaw, Poland, with respect to the treatment of infants born with severe handicaps. The results are compared with a similar survey conducted by Australian researchers (1). In the Polish medical community surveyed, unconditional respect for life is a dominant attitude. Our study has revealed a deeply-entrenched paternalistic attitude among Polish doctors and a strong unwillingness to distinguish between 'ordinary and extraordinary means' of prolonging life, as well as an ambivalent attitude towards legal regulations binding in Poland.

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