Although Duff and Campbell thought yes, the public outcry leading to the passage of the Baby Doe regulations
showed that some disagreed vehemently.
As amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, the newer, unaffected Baby Doe regulations
give state child-abuse agencies primary enforcement responsibilities.
The original Baby Doe regulations addressed handicapped infants with additional medical conditions that would be corrected in a non-handicapped infant.
As violated as parties might feel, however, the Baby Doe regulations can serve a critical purpose: they can respond to "slippery slope" concerns.
Instead, the case provided a new twist on the so-called Baby Doe regulations promulgated during the Reagan administration.
What is not in doubt, however, is the odd twist given to the so-called Baby Doe regulations when Sacred Heart responded to the Nguyens' suit by filing a complaint with Child Protective Services (CPS), citing Washington State rules that require health-care providers to notify CPS when an impasse occurs between physicians and parents over an infant's life-sustaining treatment.
The statute and its new set of Baby Doe regulations specify three circumstances that negate a finding of neglect, the third of which is when "in the treating physician's reasonable medical judgment" the "provision of such treatment would be virtually futile and the treatment itself under such circumstances would be inhumane." In the Baby Ryan case, Sacred Heart Hospital attempted to stand this exception on its head.
As Bosk elucidates how the counselors handled two cases that were "Baby Doe" situations (before Baby Doe regulations
) we can see the physicians, parents, and nurses engage in what Renee Anspach has called "prognostic conflict." While the context differed, in both cases the parents sought and failed to withdraw treatment over medical objections: the physician-counselors paid little attention to the parents' wishes or desires.
Infant Care Review or "Baby Doe" committees were established in many neonatal ICUs across the country as a direct response to the Reagan Administration's Baby Doe regulations
. Under the threat of intrusive federal investigations, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others recommended an alternative: hospital-based committees that would be available to review contested decisions to withdraw treatment from handicapped newborns.
Until that occurs, can DHHS claim that the Baby Doe regulations
have ever actually reached Alaska?