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Baby T

  • David A. Goldstein (a1)

Extract

The recent case of Baby Theresa has once again raised the dilemma of organ donation from anencephalic infants. Baby Theresa's distraught parents wanted to create something good from something tragic, by donating the baby's organs so that other children could live. If the physician waited for their baby to die naturally, the organs would not be suitable for transplantation. If they took them before death they could be harvested. For this reason, the parents petitioned the Florida courts to declare their baby dead at birth so the organs could be removed at an earlier, more propitious time. The court refused. The infant died, its vital organs unusable.

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Notes

1. Shewmon, DA, Capron, AM, Peacock, WY, et al. . The use of anencephalic infants as organ sources. Journal of the American Medical Association 1989; 2161: 1773–81.

2. Walters, JW, Ashal, S. Organ prolongation in anaecephalic infants: ethics and medical issues. Hasting Center Report 1988; 18 (10/11): 1927

3. Shewmon, D. Caution in the definition and diagnosis of infant brain death. In: Thomasma, DC, Monagle, JF, eds. Medical Ethics: A Guide for Health Professionals. Rockville, Maryland: Aspen Systems Corp., 1987: 3857.

4. Annas, GJ. From Canada with love: anencephalic newborns as organ donors?. Hastings Center Report 1987; 17(12): 36–8.

5. Capron, AM. Anencephalic donors: separate the dead from the dying. Hastings Center Report 1987; 17(02): 59.

6. Arras, JD, Sinnar, S. Anencephalic newborns as organ donors: a critique. Journal of the American Medical Association 1988; 259: 2284–5.

7. Fost, N. Organs from anencephalic infants: an idea whose time has not yet come. Hasting Center Report 1988; 18(10/11): 510.

8. Counlter, DLN. Beyond Baby Doe: does infant transplantation justify euthanasia?. Journal of the Association of Persons with Severe Handicaps 1988; 13: 71–5.

9. Fletcher, J. Indicators of humanhood: a tentative profile of man. Hasting Center Report 1972; 2(11): 14.

10. Singer, P. Sancity of life or quality of life?. Pediatrics 1983; 72: 128–9.

11. Krauthammer, C. Baby Theresa stands firm on a frontier. Los Angeles Times 1992 04 6; B5.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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