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June 1984

'Baby Doe' Rules: There Are Alternatives

Author Affiliations

From the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics (Drs Johnson and Thompson), the School of Public Health (Dr Aroskar), and the Department of Neurology (Dr Cranford), University of Minnesota Medical School; and Hennepin County Medical Center (Dr Cranford), Minneapolis.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(6):523-529. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140440007002

• The federal government's "Baby Doe" rule has elicited a strong negative response; however, a more constructive option for concerned health care providers would be to formulate reasonable alternatives to such rules. Such an alternative infant advocacy process has been developed within our community. This multistep process, which attempts to optimize individual patient care and provide public accountability, lists (1) six ethical propositions that ensure that decisions are made in the best interests of the infant; (2) five decision-making principles that define physician and parent obligations and ensure that decisions are made only after careful thought; and (3) guidelines for committee review that ensure that decisions are reviewed in a manner that recognizes the rights of the child and the parents as well as society's interest in ensuring that the best decisions are made in matters of life and death.

(AJDC 1984;138:523-529)

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