Baby Bollinger

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Baby Bollinger2016-12-06T21:59:21+00:00

Baby Bollinger 

ETHICS, PAEDIATRICS

Baby Bollinger was a baby born in 1915 in Chicago with severe internal and external malformations attributed to the mother’s typhoid fever which she’d contracted early in pregnancy. The parents, who had three normal children, were advised by surgeon Dr Harry Haiselden to withhold treatment; the child died 6 days later.

The case was a cause celebré that polarised those who believed that ’unfit populations’ should culled from the normal population, and ultimately became a lightning rod against euthanasia, given that Dr Haiselden went on to hasten the demise of other deformed babies with narcotics. While it might have been acceptable to the medical community at the time, Dr Haiselden began lecturing on the advantages of mercy killings and eventually lost his credibility and membership in the Chicago Medical Society. 

Synonym baby bollinger

References NEJM 1996; 335:526br

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