Making Decisions for the Severely Handicapped Newborn
Freeman, John M.
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 1986 Summer; 11(2): 285-294.
Commenting on New York's "Baby Jane Doe" case involving the withholding of surgery from a newborn with spina bifida and other complications, Freeman examines the process of good decision making in such instances. He defines a good decision as one in which the right things are done for the right reasons, with input from everyone, professional and family member, who is involved with the patient. Physicians in particular have an obligation to be aware of and to communicate to the parents the latest developments in the long-term care of the handicapped. Basing his review of Baby Jane's treatment on the limited information available to the public, Freeman questions the extremely negative prognosis that physicians gave to her parents. While acknowledging the difficulties of predicting outcomes for spina bifida patients, he asks whether specialist review of Baby Jane's case might not have resulted in more vigorous treatment. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Congenital Disorders; Decision Making; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Hospitals; Infants; Institutional Policies; Judicial Action; Life; Long-Term Care; Newborns; Parents; Patients; Physicians; Prognosis; Quality of Life; Review; Selection for Treatment; Spina Bifida; Surgery; Treatment Refusal; Withholding Treatment;
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