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Your choice

This scenario was adapted from "Clinical Ethics Casebook" by Peter Horn, professor of philosophy at Capital University in Columbus. The situation is hypothetical, yet drawn from real experiences. What would you choose? The choices you make will reflect your personal value systems and ethical standards.

Your baby is born 16 weeks prematurely and is resuscitated immediately upon birth. She then is admitted into the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

Given the baby's level of development, apparent age and various diagnostic signs, it appears that she has less than a 5 percent chance of survival. If she does survive, it is highly probable that she will suffer from serious respiratory problems, mental retardation and, quite possibly, blindness.

On the other hand, some infants in this category survive comparatively unaffected.

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Back to Extreme Choices
In Their Own Words
Three parents speak out on how their child's situation affects various aspects of their lives. Hear their stories in their own words.
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Listen to these mothers' advice for other families:
Barb Steele
Debbie Martin
Melissa Hahn

Photo Galleries
A Photographer's Journal
Enquirer photographer Michael Keating tells the story of these families through his own words and photos.

The Hahn Family
Melissa and Randy Hahn are dealing with a daughter that has extensive brain damage, epilepsy and a seizure condition.

Your Choice
These situations are hypothetical, yet drawn from real experiences. What would you choose?

You are a physician, free to accept or refuse anyone as a patient. Do you treat someone who has a low-paying job that does not proved health insurance coverage?
You make the choice.

How much care should your critically ill newborn receive?

How do you pay when your insurance runs out?

You're a legislator. Where do you spend the money?

Did You Know?
Ohio hasn't increased its payments to doctors seeing Medicaid patients in three years, but nursing homes get automatic increases every year. It's state law. Nursing home costs increased 31 percent in five years to $2.2 billion, making it the health care program's single biggest expense in 2001.