Ethics: Should Every Baby Be Saved?

Physicians ponder when to start, and stop, treating preemies

The unnamed baby boy, born three months prematurely at Children's Hospital in Washington, is one of thousands of 2-lb. problems facing medicine. For more than a month he has been kept alive inside a plastic incubator. Miniature sunglasses are taped over his eyes, IV lines are cut into his neck, and tubes have been jammed up his nose and down his throat. Although $2,000 a day is being spent to keep this child alive, he will be permanently handicapped if he ever leaves the hospital. But it is unlikely that this infant will go home. "This baby is the dilemma," says...

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