Baby Boy

No PhotoName Unknown.
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.

Case status:
His mother and tribe were not prosecuted.

In Brazil, Activists Defend Infanticide Among Indigenous Tribes

Andrea Lago Ordóñez

Photo of Andrea Lago, a blonde toddler sitting on a swing. She is wearing a white shirt and short pants, and smiling.Name: Andrea Lago Ordóñez.
Died: October 9, 2015.
Age at death: 12.
Cause of death: Dehydration.
Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Disability: A degenerative neurological condition.

Andrea’s parents advocated for her feeding tube to be removed. She died of starvation and dehydration after four days without nourishment.

Case status:
Antonio Lago and Estela Ordóñez (Parents); no crime.

Spanish girl at centre of futile care controversy dies
Terminally ill Galician girl Andrea dies after four days off life support
Parents of terminally ill Galician child fight to take her off life support
‘Andrea está mejor sin la sonda. Durmió de un tirón y muy tranquila’

Nancy Fitzmaurice

Photo of a young girl with fair skin and auburn hair, wearing a pink shirt and smiling; she is leaning against a white silk pillow.Name: Nancy Fitzmaurice .
Died: August 21, 2014.
Age at death: 12.
Cause of death: Dehydration.
Location: London, UK.
Disability: Hydrocephalus, epilepsy, neurological disorders.

Nancy’s mother fought for a court order to have fluids withdrawn from her disabled daughter; Nancy died of dehydration.

Case status:
Charlotte Fitzmaurice (Mother); no charges.

‘My daughter is no longer my daughter… the light from her eyes is now gone’: Mother tells of heartbreak behind the hardest decision any parent could make – to let her disabled child die

Dylan Walborn

Pencil drawing of Dylan Walborn, a small boy with light skin and dark hair. His mouth is open.Name: Dylan Walborn.
Died: November 11, 2005.
Age at death: 4.
Cause of death: Dehydration.
Location: Thornton, Colorado, USA.
Disability: Perinatal brain damage, cerebral palsy, epilepsy.

Dylan had a stroke in utero, and was not supposed to live to see his first birthday. But he lived to be four years old.

At four, Dylan died of starvation and dehydration because his parents stopped feeding him through his feeding tube. It took him twenty-four days to die.

Case status:
Kerri Bruning (Mother) and Dave Walborn (Father), no crime.

History of euthanasia in Canada
Letting go: Dylan’s last days
Children’s Hospital Euthanizes Dylan Walborn
“Dylan Must Die”

“Baby Doe”

Baby Doe's gravestone. It reads, Baby Doe. You are loved. 1982.Name: “Baby Doe”, Anonymous Male.
Died: April 15, 1982.
Age at death: 6 days.
Cause of death: Starvation, pneumonia.
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.

Case status:
Parents; Walter Owens (Doctor). No crime.

Baby Doe Law