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Andrew Bedner is an American man at the center of a bioethical controversy regarding the rights of parents to make medical decisions for children they have allegedly abused.[1]

In August 2008, Bedner, a resident of White River Junction, Vermont, was charged with intentionally injuring his eight-week-old daughter during a beating.[2] [3] The child's injuries proved severe, and Beder faced a long prison sentence if convicted, but he did not face murder charges, as his critically-ill daughter, C.B., remained on life support.

The state of New Hampshire, where the child was hospitalized, sought to exclude Bedner from decisions regarding whether to remove his daughter from life support, citing his inherent conflict of interest in the case, because the girl's death might lead to a murder charge.[4] The girl eventually did die, but the case generated considerable public debate and stimulated a controversy among bioethics scholars.[5]

Dr. Jacob Appel of Mount Sinai Hospital used the case to launch a drive for revising statutes governing parental decision-making in cases where abuse is alleged. According to Appel, such "dual motives" create a compelling reason for the state to suspend parental decision-making over end of life decisions.[6] Leading bioethics scholar Thaddeus Mason Pope recently profiled the case on his Medical Futility website.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ O'Gorman, Josh. Springfield man denies charges in infant assault, The Rutland Herald, August 5, 2008
  2. ^ Baby girl in assault case dies, Boston Globe August 11, 2008
  3. ^ O'Gorman, Josh. Springfield man denies charges in infant assault Rutland Herald, August 5, 2008.
  4. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Mixed motives, mixed outcomes when accused parents won’t agree to withdraw care, Journal of Medical Ethics 2009;35:635-637
  5. ^ Baby girl in assault case dies, Boston Globe August 11, 2008
  6. ^ Appel, Jacob M. Mixed motives, mixed outcomes when accused parents won’t agree to withdraw care, Journal of Medical Ethics 2009;35:635-637
  7. ^ Withdrawal Okay When Surrogate's Refusal to Consent Based on Wrong Reasons , Oct. 25, 2009
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