When dealing with the prospects of treating, not treating, or delaying treatment for handicapped newborns, there is no room for error. Since that is an impossible premise, one must make the best possible treatment plan for the newborn. The parents and members of the health care team should be included in the decision making. Those involved must also remember that no decisions are final; if the infant's physical condition changes, the treatment plan may be reevaluated. Any errors must be made by promoting the best interests of the infant in question, by keeping the infant alive longer than necessary rather than providing a premature death. Never, under any circumstances, should an infant be starved, dehydrated, or outright killed; to do so is to violate the rights of the infant. The infant's rights to life without constant pain are also violated by the senseless prolongation of his life and the promotion of wrongful life through the excessive use of modern technology.
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MW Carr; To treat or not to treat: the controversy of handicapped newborns. Crit Care Nurse 1 October 1989; 9 (8): 73–78. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn19126.96.36.199
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