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Playing God in the Nursery

Joan E. Hodgman, MD
JAMA. 1985;254(7):969. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360070115045.
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This excellent book is a clear and well-researched presentation of the difficult decisions required in the care of the very immature or handicapped infant.

The effects of complex medical technology on all of the involved parties, including the patient, are discussed in a manner recognizable to physicians. The ethical and moral issues are carefully delineated. The presentation of the needs and responsibilities of the parents is particularly well done. Legal issues are clarified by discussion of the implications of the various court decisions in the field. Societal effects of high-risk infant care are included.

All individuals who are involved in decisions for seriously disabled infants should benefit by reading this book. This includes physicians, nurses, hospital staff and administrators, lawyers, judges, trustees of hospitals, and politicians. Since the issues presented concern all of our society, any literate person should find this book of interest. Fortunately, it is well written and


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