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Treatment of an anencephalic infant: the case of Baby K


The vexed ethical and legal questions which arise as regards the maintenance of life in an individual who is not (or who is no longer) otherwise capable of meaningful survival have been discussed primarily as regards certain patients who are terminally ill. The issue has been thrown into a new perspective by discussions as regards the fate of an anencephalic infant. The two accounts which follow of the Virginia case of “Baby K” are reproduced with permission from the Summer 1994 Newsletter of the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Both provide an American medico-legal view of this prominent case; in future issues of this journal, European contributors will provide their opinions.