United States v. University Hospital (1984)
MetadataShow full item record
The US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals' 1984 decision United States v. University Hospital, State University Hospital of New York at Stony Brook set a significant precedent for affirming parental privilege to make medical decisions for handicapped newborns, while limiting the ability of the federal government to intervene. The ruling stemmed from the 1983 case involving an infant born with severe physical and mental congenital defects; the infant was only identified as Baby Jane Doe. After her parents opted against corrective surgery for some of her deformities, Baby Jane Doe became the epicenter of a national right-to-life debate that had been previously sparked one year prior with the case of Baby Doe, an Indiana infant born with similarly severe handicaps.