Lost Lullaby

Deborah Golden Alecson, Author, Kathleen Nolan, Foreword by
Deborah Golden Alecson, Author, Kathleen Nolan, Foreword by University of California Press $50 (207p) ISBN 978-0-520-08870-2
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 03/01/1995
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 207 pages - 978-0-520-91536-7
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Readers will at least respond to Alecson's plight in trying to arrange for the death of her severely brain-damaged infant daughter, if not to Alecson, for the tediously self-dramatizing, self-involved author, as her own mother is quoted here as observing, is given to ``obsessing.'' As a result, her book fails to make a worthy contribution to the right-to-die debate. Andrea was born in an unidentified Manhattan hospital under the care of a midwife and an obstetrician who performed an emergency cesarean section on the author. She and her husband, Lowell, a high school teacher, soon learned that their daughter, who suffered perinatal asphyxia, was hopelessly disabled. Although the couple signed a do-not-resuscitate order, they also requested that food and water be withheld from Andrea. Because the federal Baby Doe Regulations of 1983 established that providing nutrition is ``customary medical care,'' the hospital refused the parents' pleas. Then, two months after her birth, Andrea's heart stopped, causing the Alecsons' attorney to resign from their negligence suit as insufficiently remunerative; another attorney negotiated a settlement for an undisclosed sum. We're not told when these events occurred. (Mar.)
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