Lost Lullaby (Hardcover)

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Andrea Alecson was resuscitated into life having been oxygen deprived in the womb for a length of time no one seems able to determine. She was full-term, weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces: a perfectly formed and exquisitely featured infant with massive irreversible brain damage. With the birth of Andrea, Deborah Alecson experienced two strong emotions: the desire and need to nurture her baby, and the hope that she would die. This was Deborah's initiation into motherhood: a time of intense vulnerability. She had just survived the emergency Caesarean section that pulled her daughter blue from her body, too late, too deprived of oxygen for too long. Lost Lullaby told in a mother's voice, is the story of Andrea's two months in a neonatal intensive care unit and of the greater issues that her fragile life exposed: dilemmas of medical technology, family rights, and the ambiguity of the law. While experiencing anguish over their child's condition and the uncertainty of her future, the Alecsons were further traumatized by the fight to obtain power over that child's destiny. It was their wish that nature, not technology, be Andrea's guide. They viewed her as already dying and wanted that process to be respected. This fight was one of many waged throughout this country that have pitted family members of injured loved ones against legally restrained hospital personnel. Lost Lullaby also describes the securing of a lawyer to sue the hospital, midwife, and obstetrician for alleged malpractice. Ms. Alecson was to learn that a lawsuit posed yet another moral dilemma: Andrea being kept alive meant a potentially huge monetary award, while Andrea's death would mean a negligible one. During those two months, Ms. Alecson spoke with lawyers, doctors, and ethicists to understand the legal, medical, ethical implications of her plight. In telling Andrea's story, she recounts those discussions and describes some legal cases that had a direct bearing on the Alecsons' situation. Lost Lullaby makes one think the unthinkable: how a loving parent can pray for the death of her child. It will engender empathy for the plight of many families, and an awareness of the need to use medical technology with restraint. It is a must-read for everyone who cares about how we make life-and-death decisions on these new medical, legal, and moral frontiers.


Publisher University of California Press
Mfg Part# 9780520088702
SKU 30090461
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0520088700
Release Date 4/10/2007
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0207
Publisher University of California Press
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