Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What It Teaches Us About Being Human
Sarah DiGregorio, John Lantos
When journalist Sarah DiGregorio’s daughter was born nearly three months prematurely, she was cast into a place—the neonatal intensive care unit—where science, humanity, and ethics collide. Parents, doctors, and nurses wrestle with difficult, sometimes unanswerable questions. When does life begin? When and how should it end? How do we define being human?
In a discussion of her new book Early, DiGregorio recounts her family’s harrowing story and details the experiences of others. (There are many in the U.S., where one in 10 births are premature.) She delves, too, into the history of neonatology: its boundary-pushing evolution and the political, cultural, and moral issues that continue to arise amid dramatic, once-unimaginable medical breakthroughs.
DiGregorio is joined in the public conversation by John Lantos, director of the Bioethics Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital.