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July 1974

The Physician's Responsibility of Sudden Infant in the Management Death Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Health Service University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 260 Crittenden Blvd Rochester, NY 14642

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(1):16-17. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110260018003

It is obvious in consideration of the Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS) that the physician has no responsibility in management of the tragedy prior to the death of the infant, since death occurs unexpectedly. The physician does, however, have definite responsibilities to the family after the death of the infant.

Physician as Counselor  The role of the physician in management of SIDS has been discussed in the literature over the past decade.1-6 Thus, we are told that the physician should counsel the parents who are grief-stricken and often suffer severe psychological aftereffects and who may have excessive guilt reactions, feeling responsible in some way for their child's death. In order to dispel the grief and guilt reactions, parents should be told that their baby died of a definite entity (SIDS) and that death was, in light of our present knowledge, unavoidable. There is evidence that in the majority of

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