Neurologist and Attorney Dr. James C. Johnston recently co-authored an article with Thomas P. Sartwelle entitled “Neonatal Encephalopathy 2015: Opportunity Lost and Words Unspoken.” The peer-reviewed article was published in the Journal of Maternal Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 2015, early on-line.
The authors consider why the 2014 Task Force Study on Neonatal Encephalopathy failed to address electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) and its 40 years of clinical futility, and ignored the ethical breaches EFM’s use compels physicians to commit daily. The Task Force acknowledged EFMs impotence, concurring with the authors earlier paper in the Journal of Child Neurology (Sartwelle TP, Johnston JC. Cerebral Palsy Litigation: Change Course or Abandon Ship), and yet recommended continued EFM of all women in labor, without providing informed consent. This paradox is explored by the authors in their latest article.