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March of Dimes Establishes Two New Perinatal Bioethics Awards
Date:10/15/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A bioethicist who specializes in moral dilemmas families face when making medical decisions for critically-ill newborns will be honored with the first-ever March of Dimes Distinguished Lectureship in Perinatal Bioethics.

John D. Lantos, MD, a nationally-recognized pediatrician and ethicist, will deliver his lecture "Doctors are All Alike, Parents are All Different" at the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities' 11th annual meeting here today. Dr. Lantos directs the Children's Mercy Bioethics Center at Children's Mercy Hospital, and holds the John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City.

"Dr. Lantos has a deep appreciation for the choices doctors and parents face," said Alan R. Fleischman, MD, March of Dimes medical director. "He draws on his understanding of medicine and ethics as he explores the moral predicaments faced in neonatal intensive care units."

The March of Dimes established the two new awards -- the Distinguished Lectureship in Perinatal Bioethics and the Young Scholar Award in Perinatal Bioethics -- to honor the work of established scholars in perinatal ethics and to encourage young researchers to enter the field. Perinatal ethics address a broad range of moral issues that arise before, during and after pregnancy, such as deciding whether to use new reproductive technologies, to undergo genetic and diagnostic testing, or to pursue aggressive treatment when a baby's born sick or too soon, all of which involve the potential for benefit and the possibility of risk.

"Parents of critically ill babies face decisions that most of us cannot even imagine. They need information to make those decisions. They also need doctors to understand what they are going through," said Dr. Lantos.

"These two new awards from the March of Dimes will stimulate research in this crucial and complex area of
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SOURCE March of Dimes
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