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November 30, 1935

Baptism of the Infant and the Fetus: An Outline for the Use of Doctors and Nurses

JAMA. 1935;105(22):1799. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760480069029

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Abstract

This brief outline prescribes methods of baptizing Catholic babies. It is directed to Catholic and non-Catholic physicians and nurses officiating at deliveries with the view of bringing "the privileges of Baptism to the little ones, and affording inestimable consolation to the parents," particularly when viability of the new born is in question. This urgency is discussed under such special headings as conditional baptism, the premature fetus, difficult delivery, baptism in the uterus, when a pregnant mother is dying, when a mother dies in pregnancy, the baptism of monsters, and disposal of the dead fetus. Due respect is paid to medical and moral considerations illustrated in the conditions for performing a cesarean section after the death of the pregnant mother. It is made perfectly plain that "a dying mother is in no condition to ponder such an obligation" as permitting a section. Furthermore, section is not permitted when it "does not

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