In 1992, for example, the parents of an anencephalic baby named Baby Theresa wanted to donate her organs. In my view, Congress, even in its weakest moments, would not have attempted to impose federal control in this sensitive, private area. The treating physicians and Ms. Thank you for your time!! Baby K was born at the Hospital in October of 1992 with anencephaly, a congenital malformation in which a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp are missing. Impasse continued- legal resolution needed. H insisted that Baby K be provided with mechanical breathing assistance whenever the infant developed difficulty breathing on her own, while the physicians maintained that such care was inappropriate. H failed to reach an agreement as to the appropriate care.
The condition can be diagnosed prenatally, and most women about 95% who learn that they will have an anencephalic child choose to have an abortion. Where do you stand in this debate? We recognize that every human life is valuable, and human beings should not have to fit certain qualifications of age or intelligence to be worthy of the same inalienable right to life. No cerebrum cortex- no pain felt. At the center of the ethical debate was whether a child with Down's syndrome should be valued less than other people. The Florida courts would not declare the child dead. Hospital turned to hospital's ethics committee and subcommittee formed on the matter. They say that, by donating the newborn's organs, they feel that the pregnancy would at least have had some value: their own loss can be another family's gain.
Hospital filed suit in federal district court seeking declaratory ruling and injunctive relief to the effect that it's future refusal to provide Baby K with life sustaining medical care would not violate the law. Since being transferred to the nursing home, Baby K has been readmitted to the Hospital three times due to breathing difficulties. While the presence of a brain stem does support her autonomic functions and reflex actions, because Baby K lacks a cerebrum, she is permanently unconscious. Specifically, as an anencephalic infant, Baby K is permanently unconscious. The brain stem allows them to breathe and allows their hearts to beat. Relying on the decisions of this court in Baber v. Symptoms: Permanently unconscious Cannot hear or see Lacking cerebral function, therefore cannot feel pain.
United States, , 20, 104 S. Alison Paige Landry, ReNee D. As the Hospital acknowledged during oral argument, Baby K resides at the nursing home for months at a time without requiring emergency medical attention. H was aware of the condition from 16th week of pregnancy but refused to terminate the pregnancy. The prognosis was good and a nearby hospital was available to perform the ordinary medical treatment.
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. Baby K died aged 2 and half of a heart attack - making her one of the longest lived anencephalic infants in medical history. They saw no point in prolonging her dying with technology. God, not other humans should decide the moment of her daughter's death. What does this do to the rates for others covered by the same company?. After seven weeks in hospital,Baby K was eventually weaned from the ventilator and transferred to Nursing home.
Thus, it maintains that a requirement to provide respiratory assistance would exceed the prevailing standard of medical care. Bronson Health Care Group, Inc. The Hospital has been unable to identify, nor has our research revealed, any statutory language or legislative history evincing a Congressional intent to create an exception to the duty to provide stabilizing treatment when the required treatment would exceed the prevailing standard of medical care. And it defines 'to stabilize' as 'to provide such medical treatment of the condition as may be necessary to assure, within reasonable medical probability, that no material deterioration of the condition is likely to result from or occur during the transfer of the individual. It may be against her faith, but she should think about the child. 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. Each time she has been provided with breathing assistance and, after stabilization, has been discharged to the nursing home.
H contested the Hospital's request for declaratory relief. Limited feeding reflexes swallowing Respiratory reflexes breathing, coughing Reflexive responses to sound or touch. After the district court issued its findings of fact and conclusions of law denying the requested relief, the Hospital, Mr. When she died, her organs could no longer be transplanted. H that most anencephalic infants die within a few days of birth due to breathing difficulties and other complications. She lived longer than most anencephalic babies, but she died of a heart attack when she was 2.
Further ventilation assistance was medically and ethically inappropriate. In the absence of a statutory definition for this term, we concluded that it should be defined as requiring participating hospitals to apply uniform screening procedures to all individuals coming to the emergency room of the hospital requesting treatment. Since there is no medical treatment that can improve her condition, she will be in this state for as long as she lives. Therefore, to the extent that Sec. Difficulty breathing at birth- placed on ventilator. Anencephaly : is the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs during embryonic development.
In November of 1992, when Baby K no longer needed the services of an acute-care hospital, she was transferred to a nearby nursing home. The case touched off a legal and ethical firestorm. Every time Baby K stopped breathing, her mother would rush her back to Fairfax Hospital to be resuscitated and put on a respirator. Court denied the relief sought by the hospital and argued that withholding the ventilator from Baby K would violate the law. I emphasize that this view contemplates a case-by-case determination. 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.
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. The law was crafted to effect the purpose of preventing disparate treatment between emergency patients. However, if resort must be had to our courts to test the appropriateness of the care, the legal vehicle should be state malpractice law. As a result of this impasse, the Hospital sought to transfer Baby K to another hospital. The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics.