© 1992

Compelled Compassion

Government Intervention in the Treatment of Critically Ill Newborns

  • Arthur L. Caplan
  • Robert H. Blank
  • Janna C. Merrick

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Janna C. Merrick
    Pages 35-72
  3. James Bopp Jr, Mary Nimz
    Pages 73-103
  4. Arthur L. Caplan
    Pages 105-122
  5. Patricia A. Barber, Janet G. Marquis, H. Rutherford Turnbull III
    Pages 123-153
  6. Anthony Shaw
    Pages 185-205
  7. A. G. M. Campbell
    Pages 207-236
  8. Loretta M. Kopelman, Arthur E. Kopelman, Thomas G. Irons
    Pages 237-266
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 317-336

About this book


In April 1982, an infant boy was born in Bloomington, Indiana, with Down syndrome and a defective, but surgically correctable, esophagus. His parents refused to consent to surgery or intravenous feeding. The hospital unsuccessfully sought a court order to force treatment, and appeals to higher courts also failed. The child, identified as Baby Doe by the news media, subsequently died. The events in Bloomington became the catalyst for action by the Reagan administration, the courts, and Congress that culminated in a federal policy that makes failure to treat newborns with disabilities a form of child neglect. This book centers on the public policy aspects of withholding treatment from critically ill newborns who are disabled. Specifically, it deals with why the policy was enacted and what impact it has had on health care workers, families, and infants. Some of the contributors to this book spearheaded the early debate on withholding treatment. Anthony Shaw's New York Times Magazine article in 1972 was the first to address these issues in the popular press. The following year, he published a related article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Also appearing in this same issue of NEJM, was the pathbreaking study, coauthored by A. G. M. Campbell, on withholding treatment in the special care nursery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Each of these articles promoted much public and professional discussion.


Government health hospital newborn policymaking

Editors and affiliations

  • Arthur L. Caplan
    • 1
  • Robert H. Blank
    • 2
  • Janna C. Merrick
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Biomedical EthicsUniversity of MinnesotaSt. CloudUSA
  2. 2.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.St. Cloud State UniversitySt. Cloud

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Compelled Compassion
  • Book Subtitle Government Intervention in the Treatment of Critically Ill Newborns
  • Authors Arthur L. Caplan
    Robert H. Blank
    Janna C. Merrick
  • Series Title Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Humana Press Inc 1992
  • Publisher Name Humana Press, Totowa, NJ
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-89603-224-8
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4612-6749-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4612-0409-1
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 336
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Theory of Medicine/Bioethics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews excellent contribution...a worthwhile addition to any library. -International Digest of Health Legislation