Law: Whose Lives Are They Anyway?

An infant and a cerebral palsy victim prompt painful questions

The rights of the handicapped and the duties of those who handle their medical treatment once again became an emotional public issue last week in two controversial court cases. In New York, the U.S. Justice Department filed an unprecedented lawsuit aimed at finding out whether a couple improperly refused to permit life-prolonging surgery on their severely handicapped newborn infant. In California, Elizabeth Bouvia, 26, who has been rendered helpless by cerebral palsy, was in a hospital, where she wanted to starve herself to death....

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