Baby K died aged 2 and half of a heart attack - making her one of the longest lived anencephalic infants in medical history. The Hospital asserts that, because of their extremely limited life expectancy and because any treatment of their condition is futile, the prevailing standard of medical care for infants with anencephaly is to provide only warmth, nutrition, and hydration. H objects to the transfer of Baby K, since the Hospital has not obtained a certification that the benefits of a transfer would outweigh the medical risks involved, and since no qualified medical facility has agreed to accept Baby K, the requirements for transfer prior to stabilization have not been met. The argument of the Hospital to the contrary is without merit. Rather, without regard to professional standards of care or the standards embodied in the state law of medical malpractice, the hospital would have to provide treatment indefinitely--perhaps for years--according to a novel, federal standard of care derived from the statutory stabilization requirement.
This respiratory support allowed the doctors to confirm the diagnosis and gave Ms. Of the belief that providing such intensive care was unethical. Its core purpose is to get patients into the system who might otherwise go untreated and be left without a remedy because traditional medical malpractice law affords no claim for failure to treat. Where do you stand in this debate? The Hospital also sought declaratory relief under Sec. Caring for Baby K, an infant born with anencephaly, created moral distress and violated the integrity of some nurses. No cerebrum cortex- no pain felt. After the district court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law denying the requested relief, the Hospital, Mr.
When she experiences respiratory distress, Baby K requires specialized facilities and capabilities that the nursing home does not possess. The doctor's advice was that he thought that because Baby Doe had Down's syndrome, his life was not worth living and it would be in the family's best interest to have their son die. Infants typically survive only a few weeks with palliative care. Court denied the relief sought by the hospital and argued that withholding the ventilator from Baby K would violate the law. In sum, a straightforward application of the statute obligates the Hospital to provide respiratory support to Baby K when she arrives at the emergency department of the Hospital in respiratory distress and treatment is requested on her behalf.
. On the day of Baby Theresa's death, her mom and a surgeon appeared on a show to try and change the law. Baby K was born on October 13, 1992, at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. The brain stem allows them to breathe and allows their hearts to beat. This portion of the statute is not applicable to the appeal before us.
These cases dealt with screening procedures; neither addressed a hospital's duty to provide stabilizing treatment for an emergency medical condition. How is this problematic when dealing with anencephalic newborns? Limited feeding reflexes swallowing Respiratory reflexes breathing, coughing Reflexive responses to sound or touch. Presumptively aware of this feature of state tort law, Congress did not address a hypothetical problem that was not before it but addressed a national scandal that was: emergency rooms' turning away patients at the door for inability to pay or other similar reasons. The fight went all the way to the U. What was the doctors Proposition? Children with Down's syndrome are particularly in danger both in the womb and after birth. Advancing the proposition that anencephaly, as opposed to respiratory distress, is the emergency medical condition at issue, the Hospital concludes that it is only required to provide uniform treatment to all anencephalic infants.
She fought the hospital, the doctors, and even the baby's father to whom she was never married to continue aggressive treatment for Baby K, despite the futility of the treatment. If, as the Hospital suggests, it were only required to provide uniform treatment, it could provide any level of treatment to Baby K, including a level of treatment that would allow her condition to materially deteriorate, so long as the care she was provided was consistent with the care provided to other individuals. Anenphalic babies are born without formation of cerebral cortex. In addition, the transfer must meet the criteria for an appropriate transfer which include the requirement that a qualified receiving facility agree to accept the patient and to provide appropriate medical treatment. They saw no point in prolonging her dying with technology. He was born with two conditions, Down's syndrome and tracheoesophageal fistula, a birth defect in the throat that makes eating food orally impossible. In Baby Doe's case, the birth defect was a correctable condition that would have allowed to him to eat normally.
She was diagnosed prenatally with Anencephaly. Right to Life of Michigan maintains an extensive file on the Baby Doe case, if you would like more information please contact our at 616-532-2300. Firm Christian faith and believes that God will work a miracle if that is his will. It is beyond the limits of our judicial function to address the moral or ethical propriety of providing emergency stabilizing medical treatment to anencephalic infants. Hospital, guardian ad litem appointed by the court and Baby K's father who are all of the belief that further ventilatory assistance to Baby K is both medically and ethically inappropriate.
The appropriate branch to redress the policy concerns of the Hospital is Congress. Congress rejected a case-by-case approach to determining what emergency medical treatment hospitals and physicians must provide and to whom they must provide it; instead, it required hospitals and physicians to provide stabilizing care to any individual presenting an emergency medical condition. H was aware of the condition from 16th week of pregnancy but refused to terminate the pregnancy. From there, she went to a nursing home no neonatal intensive care unit? The physicians explained to Ms. She has no awareness of and cannot interact with her environment in any way.