Name: “Baby Doe”, Anonymous Male.
Died: April 15, 1982.
Age at death: 6 days.
Cause of death: Fatal Medical Neglect.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
Disability: Down syndrome.
Baby Doe was born with Down syndrome and an esophageal atresia, which untreated would result in death, but could be treated surgically with a 90% success rate. Advised by their doctor that the baby would have an intellectual disability, Baby Doe’s parents decided not to proceed with surgery. The hospital staff tried to have the court appoint a guardian for Baby Doe, to override the parents’ decision; but the court denied them. Baby Doe died six days later of starvation and pneumonia from aspirated stomach acid.
Perpetrator: Parents; Walter Owens (Doctor). No crime.
Source: Baby Doe Law
Name: James Allen Lloyd.
Died: November 23, 1981.
Age at death: 4.
Cause of death: Murder.
Location: Shadow Creek, Kentucky, USA.
Disability: Intellectual disability.
After hearing that James might not be able to go to kindergarten because he was “slow”, James’s mother put him in the bathtub and shot him dead.
Perpetrator: Caroline Lloyd (Mother), convicted of murder.
The Loss of Innocents
James Allen Lloyd
Name: Matthew Robles.
Died: September 1, 1980.
Age at death: 4 months.
Cause of death: Murder.
Location: El Cajon, California, USA.
Matthew was smothered by his mother. His death was presumed natural until five years later, when his mother killed his brother, John Robles, and confessed to both killings.
Perpetrator: Debra Sue Robles (Mother), pled guilty to murder, sentenced to 30 years to life.
Source: An American Tragedy: Mother Kills 2 Children as System Fails
Died: Undated; article published January 6, 2016.
Age at death: Newborn, less than 6 days old.
Cause of death: Burned alive, following Yanomami tradition.
Location: Caracaraí, Brazil.
Disability: “a malformation in his leg”.
Quote: When a 21-year-old indigenous woman gave birth to her fourth son in this small settlement in northern Brazil, she noticed that the newborn was suffering from a malformation in his leg. She knew what that meant, but still consulted with the leaders of her Yanomami tribe in a desperate hope for an exception.
It was not to be: the baby was burned alive as part of a ritual, and the ashes were used to prepare a sort of gruel that was offered to all members of the tribe. Though the mother shared her grief with her immediate family, she said she understood that this was the tradition.
Perpetrator: His mother and tribe.
Source: In Brazil, Activists Defend Infanticide Among Indigenous Tribes