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How much control do—or should—the courts and public policy have over the treatment of critically ill and disabled newborns?
The Baby Doe incident of 1982 spurred the federal government to create a public policy making failure to treat severely disabled newborns a form of child neglect.
Compelled Compassion focuses on public policy aspects of withholding treatment from critically ill, disabled infants, and especially dealing with why this policy was enacted and how it affects health care workers, the infants, and their families. Several contributors to this timely, controversial volume spearheaded the early debates on withholding treatment; others were active participants in the policymaking process itself.
Compelled Compassion makes a valuable contribution to our awareness of the complex, difficult process of decision making for these infants: a process laden with emotional, legal, and clinical ramifications, and strives to help clarify how the various factors can be applied in reaching a compassionate, but logical, decision for everyone involved in reaching it.