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The 25th Anniversary of the Baby Doe Rules: Perspectives from the Fields of Law, Health Care, Ethics, and Disability Policy

Posted Dec 12 2008 1:25pm
On Friday, February 13, 2009, the Georgia State University Law Review will hold a symposium, The 25th Anniversary of the Baby Doe Rules: Perspectives from the Fields of Law, Health Care, Ethics, and Disability Policy, in downtown Atlanta. Nationally-prominent experts in the fields of neonatal medicine, law, ethics, and disability policy will explore controversial issues involved in treatment decisions for premature and other medically at-risk infants. Speakers include Mark Mercurio, Burke Balch, Sadath Sayeed, Tom Mayo, Mary Crossley, Loretta Kopelman, Robert Truog, Ellen Waldman, and William Winslade.

A highly publicized and controversial case involving the withholding of medical treatment from a “Baby Doe” with Down syndrome gave rise in 1984 to the federal law known as the Baby Doe Rules, which went into effect the following year. The law conditions the grant of federal funds for any state’s child protective services program on the state’s assurance that it can respond to reports of medical neglect, which may include the withholding of medical treatment from disabled infants with life-threatening conditions. Leading scholars and practitioners from the fields of health care, law, ethics, and disability policy who are experts in the field of neonatal medicine and decision-making involving very premature and other medically at-risk infants will gather to provide thoughtful commentary and debate.

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