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Parental Dreams, Dilemmas, and Decision-Making In Cinéma Vérité


Our film Dreams and Dilemmas: Parents and the Practice of Neonatal Care is on its way to meeting its goal of furthering the “Principles for Family Centered Neonatal Care” (Harrison H. Pediatrics 1993;92:643–50) through cinéma vérité depiction of parental involvement in decision-making. Reality-based filmmaking can provide valuable and successful educational material that advances care and understanding. However, there are real practical and ethical concerns such as privacy, consent, and uncertain or unknown future impact on participants. Successful reality-based filmmaking in a complex medical environment such as a neonatal intensive care unit requires careful attention to ways of ensuring full communication between all those involved and efforts to allay participants’ anxiety about being portrayed unfavorably. The most important ingredient, however, is the skill and ability of the filmmaker to engender trust.

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Sponsored by the Dartmouth Department of Pediatrics and Ethics Institute, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Ross Laboratories, and the Vermont-Oxford Trials Facilitation Service.

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Little, G., Kahn, R. & Green, R. Parental Dreams, Dilemmas, and Decision-Making In Cinéma Vérité. J Perinatol 19, 194–196 (1999).

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