The Baby Doe Rules
New England Journal of Medicine. 1986 Mar 6; 314(10): 642-644.
From the author's perspective, the Baby Doe rules formulated by the Department of Health and Human Services in 1984 were designed to ensure that all handicapped newborns receive all possible life-sustaining treatment. She contends that these rules deny newborns a right that both competent and incompetent adults possess--the right to refuse treatment based on considerations of quality as well as length of life. The best interests of the infant might well be ignored, and this lack of consideration could lead to overtreatment of clearly terminal newborns or the condemnation of infants and families to lives of anguish. Decision making in such difficult cases should include consideration of future suffering and should be individualized, carefully weighed, and loving--a process better undertaken by parents and physicians than by the government. (KIE abstract)
Adults; Allowing to Die; Child Abuse; Congenital Disorders; Decision Making; Federal Government; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Infants; Legal Aspects; Legal Rights; Life; Newborns; Parents; Patient Care; Physicians; Regulation; Rights; Social Impact; Suffering; Treatment Refusal; Withholding Treatment;
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