Oklahoma: Deciding Who Shall Die

Oklahoma Deciding Who Shall Die

Carlton Johnson was suffering from spina bifida, a condition in which the spine is not closed, as an infant at Children's Memorial Hospital in Oklahoma City in 1981. On the advice of hospital doctors, his parents did not request corrective surgery. Carlton survived, thanks in part to a later operation, but is now mentally retarded. Last week the hospital was accused of withholding treatment from a number of afflicted infants based on "quality of life" considerations, thus causing the death of 24 babies.

The charges, made by the National Legal Center for the Medically Dependent and Disabled and the American Civil...

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