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Baby KAn anencephalic infant born in Virginia (1992–1995) who became a “poster child” for an array of bioethical issues.
Anencephaly was diagnosed prenatally; the obstetrician and neonatologist advised termination. The mother chose to continue the pregnancy based on her fundamentalist Christian belief that all life should be protected and, once born, refused to sign a DNR consent. The Federal District Court upheld her decision, and Fairfax Hospital was compelled to continue care of the child.
Ethical issues raised
The controversial court ruling raised questions about the definitions of death, personhood and medical futility, as well as what constitutes appropriate allocation of limited resources.