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This Article first explores the scope of the problem of withholding lifesaving treatment from seriously impaired infants. Next, the Article examines the interests involved in decisions to withhold treatment and the rationales for them. It contends that there are limitations on parental child-rearing rights and suggests standards to define when treatment may be withheld. The Article then reviews recent efforts to protect disabled newborns and points out a shift in the focus of these efforts toward a reliance on child abuse and neglect laws. Next, the Article surveys the development of federal and state child abuse and neglect statutes. The Article then considers the new federal Child Abuse Amendments and analyzes the ways in which definitional and functional problems impede statutory efforts to protect against improper withholding of treatment.

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