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1991 BYU L. Rev. 697 (1991)
Should the Baby Live: The Problem of Handicapped Infants

handle is hein.journals/byulr1991 and id is 707 raw text is: Should the Baby Live? The Problem of
Handicapped Infants
By Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer. Oxford: Oxford University
Press. 1985. Pp. vii, 228.
There is a limit to the burden of dependence which any com-
munity can carry. If we attempt to keep all handicapped in-
fants alive, irrespective of their future prospects, we will have
to give up other things which we may well regard as at least
equally important.... The amount needed to care for one pa-
tient. . . could be used to save the lives of a score of children
suffering from malnutrition in less well-developed countries.'
I. INTRODUCTION
Advances in medical technology can save the lives of se-
verely handicapped infants, who, only several years ago, would
have died within a few days of birth. But saving these lives is
not without cost. In their book, Should the Baby Live? The
Problem of Handicapped Infants, authors Helga Kuhse and Pe-
ter Singer examine the emotional strains put upon a family with
a severely handicapped child as well as the financial burdens of
expensive medical and institutional care, usually put upon soci-
ety. The authors also expose the medical practice of sometimes
just letting a severely handicapped infant die. The authors illus-
trate these problems with several studies and case histories
which are discussed in Part II of this book note. In Part III, the
solutions suggested by the authors are presented and analyzed.
II. THE BURDEN CAUSED BY THE SEVERELY HANDICAPPED
A. Emotional Burdens
The authors propose that the survival of a handicapped
child is also the creation of a handicapped family.'2 This is sup-
ported by several studies of families with a severely handicapped
child. Raising a handicapped child puts a devastating strain on
1. H. KUHSE & P. SINGER, SHOULD THE BABY LIVE? THE PROBLEM OF HANDICAPPED
INFANTS 170, 171 (1985) [hereinafter KUHSE].
2. Id. at 146.

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