Medicine: The Law & the Life

In Chicago's family court last week, Dr. Morten Andelman, health department pediatrician, gave his expert conclusion: "Without a transfusion, I will say absolutely, this child cannot live; or, if it should, could not live without permanent brain injury." His chief, Health Commissioner Herman Bundesen, backed him up: "The one chance this baby has is to get a transfusion."

The baby was Cheryl Lynn Labrenz, seven days old. Her red blood cells were being destroyed because her blood, like her father's, contained the mysterious Rh (for rhesus) factor and her mother's did not. From her mother, Cheryl's blood had picked up an antibody...

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