Medicine: Fetal Rights

The late U. S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), married but childless, had a lifelong professional interest in pregnant women. When he was two (1843) and again when he was 14 (1855), his father, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes (Autocrat of the Breakfast Table), initiated campaigns to make doctors wash their hands before attending women in labor. And it was Judge Holmes who ruled from the Massachusetts bench in 1884 that "during the gestation period, the child is part of his mother's bowels," and therefore is not an individual capable of being injured in an accident.

Last week a Chicago judge...

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