Baby Doe case

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A legal test case in the United States in 1982 involving an infant born with severe Down syndrome and esophageal atresia whose parents refused surgical intervention. Although the baby died before court-ordered intervention was possible, the publicity prompted federal and state legislation in the United States aimed at protecting newborns from abuse attributable to parental or medical neglect and similar legislation in several other countries. Several other cases identified as “Baby Doe,” either of liveborn but gravely disabled infants or of severely malformed and sometimes nonviable fetuses, for instance with anencephaly, have been subjects of similar court cases in the United States.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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