Putting Hospitals on Notice
Hastings Center Report. 1982 Aug; 12(4): 5-8.
Shortly after a well-publicized Indiana case in which a Down's syndrome newborn was allowed to die, the Department of Health and Human Services notified hospitals that, under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, they could lose federal funding for withholding treatment or nourishment from the handicapped. Fost analyzes ambiguities in Section 504 which might inappropriately justify nontreatment, or require treatment that is neither medically nor morally justified. He suggests alternative approaches to decision making for handicapped newborns. Included with the article are the texts of the DHHS notice and of proposed federal legislation, the "Handicapped Infants Protection Act." (KIE abstract)