The Baby Doe Rules Of 1984

1344 WordsDec 6, 20166 Pages
Assignment 3 The Baby Doe Rules of 1984 was the first time in American history that the government had directly intervened in the medical treatment of infants that were born with severe birth defects. In 1982 in Indiana there was a case of an infant that had been born with spina bifida. The baby had been born with a detached esophagus but with surgery the anomaly would have been corrected and the baby would have survived. Without the necessary medical intervention, the baby would have died. The mother’s obstetrician happened to have had very limited knowledge when it came to Down Syndrome and spina bifida and he told the parents that the baby even after surgery would not survive. The parents took the advice of the physician and agreed that they would not do the corrective surgery. The hospital where the baby was born disagreed with the parent’s decision and initiated court proceedings to override the parent’s decisions to withhold treatment. The Indiana State Supreme Court sided with the parents and argued that the parents with the recommendation of the obstetrician had the right to decide as they pleased. The infant died a couple of months later. The Reagan Administration disagreed and argued that, “If a physician or parent chooses to withhold full treatment when the exceptions are not met, they are liable for medical neglect”, (Resnick, 2011). The Baby Doe Rules mandate followed and stated that hospitals that have access or are federally funded, the physicians have the

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