First of all, greetings of this marvelous season to you and Win. Betty and I are very happy for you both.
My appointment runs until November 17, 1975. Those who tried so hard to keep me out of office got me an extra year! I would
love to be reappointed at that time and at least stay in as long as the President does until the end of 1988. I know I will
never retire and I can't think of a job in which I would be more productive and happy.
You will be interested to know that all of our efforts about Baby Doe and
the regulations that were written, based upon Civil Rights Legislation, were eventually struck down in the courts and we were
for a time without protection for these infants. Then, due to two years of education in the press whether they wanted it or
not, Congress reacted. First, in the Congress and then in the Senate, bills were drawn up in the form of amendments to the
new Child Abuse Legislation, which put the responsibility for monitoring and enforcement not on the Federal Government, but
on the individual states.
After a conference between both Houses of Congress, a compromise was reached and the President signed the bill into law on
October 9th, which called for the writing of regulations on definitions of handicapped newborns, as well as a new definition
to be included on Child Abuse, namely, "the withholding of medically beneficial treatment (including nutrition, hydration,
and medication) from handicapped newborns". I was the in-house expert on the language and the regulations having to do
with these amendments and was given the complete responsibility for writing the guidelines for infant care review committees
to be established voluntarily in hospitals to get a better forum in which these things might be discussed and, therefore,
not railroaded through without some competent understanding and compassionate people having an influence. They now go out
for comment and will be rewritten and then will become law. I will send you a copy to skim under separate cover. (Copy has
On my return trip from Israel recently, I stopped in Manchester and gave an
Honor Lecture on Pediatrics and then sat on a panel in reference to Baby
Doe to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Manchester Medical Society.
I was up against people of totally opposite convictions, but did have the
satisfaction of having a number of people say such things to me as "You are nothing like you are represented in the press"
or "I'm so glad to hear the truth about Baby Doe". I took off, among other things after Michael O'Donnell
who had written such a biased, prejudiced and totally inaccurate piece in the British Medical Journal.
I don't hear much from my European colleagues, but do know that Michael Carcasonne is well and that Peter Rickham, apparently,
is not. Peter is completely retired and Michelle is most discouraged about the effect of communism on the practice of medicine
Betty sends her love and will write in the New Year.