In this article, a father and mother thoughtfully reflect on their experiences surrounding the imminent birth of their son Gabriel at the edge of viability. They suggest that physicians should try to understand the values and motivations that will influence parental decisions before reviewing with them the probability of survival and the most likely range of functional outcomes. A neonatologist not clinically involved in Gabriel’s care recounts new lessons learned and previous lessons validated during this collaboration that can help neonatologists establish stronger partnerships with families.

When my wife, Miri, developed preterm labor at 21 weeks and 4 days of gestation, we were suddenly thrust into a very unfamiliar world. My wife’s physicians offered us the unthinkable choice of an elective abortion, advising that it was likely that our son would be born before he had a chance to survive or that he would be extremely disabled if he did...

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