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Stephanie Keene Baby K

The hospital challenged the judge's decision to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. [19] The hospital maintained that the emergency medical condition at issue was anencephaly, not respiratory distress, and that any treatment other than palliative care was both numerically and qualitatively worthless, and hence they should not be compelled to offer life-sustaining support. The appeals court judge determined that Baby K's readmission to the hospital was due to respiratory distress rather than anencephaly. Although the judge acknowledged the difficulties of doctors delivering treatment that they considered was unethical, he stated that it was not the courts' role to disregard the law. He emphasized that EMTALA makes no exceptions for other terminally ill individuals who come to the hospital. Patients with lung cancer or muscular dystrophy, for example, may seek emergency treatment for respiratory discomfort while having a grave prognosis. The court held on February 10, 1994, that the hospital was not entitled to refuse stabilizing therapy, which it deemed morally improper, to this anencephalic newborn or any other patient presenting with an emergency situation. [19]

Stephanie Keene, often known as Baby K, was born in Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, USA. She was born with most of her brain missing, including the cortex; only the brainstem, the region of the brain responsible for autonomic and regulatory functions such as controlling breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure, had formed during pregnancy. [2]Contrary perspectives of view

Keene's mother was informed of her illness during an ultrasound and was urged by her gynecologist and neonatologist to terminate the pregnancy, but she elected to take the kid to term due to "a solid Christian sense that all life should be preserved." The hospital considered that the baby's treatment would be useless, but the mother believed that artificial breathing assistance was required during the baby's repeated respiratory crises. Doctors at Fairfax Hospital strongly recommended a Do Not Resuscitate order for the kid, which the mother declined. Stephanie was kept on ventilator support for six weeks as Fairfax looked for another hospital to transfer her to, but none would take her. The mother consented to transfer the kid to a nursing facility after the infant was weaned off continuous ventilator support, but the youngster returned to the hospital many times for respiratory difficulties. Court proceedings

Stephanie, often known as Baby K, was diagnosed with anencephalia while still in her mother's pregnancy. Despite being advised by neurologists and doctors that her daughter's life would be cut short, Ms. Keene refused to have her pregnancy terminated because she believed God was the Giver of Life. In 1992, Baby K was born in Virginia's Fairfax Hospital. While the brain generally develops in the baby approximately 22 days after conception, Stephanie had just a piece of brain tissue formed from the neural tube at birth. Ms. Keene fiercely resisted the legislation in favor of maintaining her daughter's life for as long as possible, despite medical advisers strongly recommending a Do Not Resuscitate order after some time of intermittent breathing treatments. Responding to Ms. Keene's repeated appeal that a solid Christian faith [demands] that all life be safeguarded, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act intervened on the desperate mother's behalf, ensuring the continuation of therapies whenever Baby K's respiratory system failed. Baby K miraculously survived to be six months old, exceeding the few hours previously permitted by medical standards.

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