Baby Doe Five Years Later
New England Journal of Medicine. 1987 Aug 13; 317(7): 444-447.
Lantos reviews the public and political controversy over withholding life-prolonging treatment from handicapped newborns that began in 1983 with the highly publicized death of "Baby Doe" in Bloomington, Indiana. He places the controversy into its historical context and discusses the implications of the resulting federal legislation (the amended Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act) for the Reagan administration, pediatricians, advocates for the handicapped, and parents. Lantos's central concern is the impact that the issue of neonatal intensive care has had on child health in the United States. He argues that the focus on technology-based interventions diverts attention from the real problem, which is a high rate of infant mortality resulting primarily from low birth weight. In Lantos's opinion, the Baby Doe controversy has removed important preventive medicine programs from political and clinical agendas. (KIE abstract)
Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Biomedical Technologies; Birth Weight; Child Abuse; Death; Decision Making; Discrimination; Federal Government; Financial Support; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Care; Infants; Intensive Care Units; Legislation; Life; Low Birth Weight; Medicine; Mortality; Newborns; Parents; Patient Advocacy; Pediatrics; Physicians; Political Activity; Pregnant Women; Prematurity; Preventive Medicine; Public Policy; Regulation; Resource Allocation; Social Discrimination; Technology; Withholding Treatment;
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