Stephanie Keene Case Summary

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Stephanie Keene was born at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, the United States. At the time of her birth, she was missing most of her brain, including the cortex; only the brainstem, the portion of the brain responsible for autonomic and regulatory functions, such as the control of respiration, the heartbeat and blood pressure, had developed during pregnancy.Keene 's mother had been notified of her condition following ultrasonography,and was advised to terminate the pregnancy by her obstetrician and neonatologist but chose to carry the child to term because of "a firm Christian faith that all life should be protected."The hospital believed that care provided to the baby would be futile,while the mother believed mechanical breathing support must…show more content…
Stephanie remained on ventilator support for six weeks while Fairfax searched for another hospital to transfer her to, but no other hospital would accept her. After the baby was weaned off constant ventilator support, the mother agreed to move the child to a nursing facility, but the baby returned to the hospital many times for respiratory problems. Legal proceedings When baby Keene was admitted to the hospital at six months of age for severe respiratory problems, the hospital filed a legal motion to appoint a guardian for the child 's care and sought a court order that the hospital did not need to provide any services beyond palliative care. At trial, several experts testified that providing ventilator support to an anencephalic infant went beyond the accepted standard of medical care.In
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