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