Lost Lullaby by Deborah Golden Alecson

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Lost Lullaby makes one think the unthinkable: how a loving parent can pray for the death of her child. It is Deborah Alecson's story of her daughter, Andrea, who was born after a full-term, uneventful pregnancy, weighing 7 pounds 11 ounces, perfectly formed and exquisitely featured. But an inexplicable accident at birth left her with massive and irreversible brain damage. On a vitality scale of one to ten, her initial reading was one. And so begins Deborah Alecson's heart-rending struggle to come to terms with two desperately conflicting and powerful emotions: her desire to nurture and love Andrea, and her desire to do everything in her power to bring about her death.

Told in a mother's voice, with a simplicity and directness that heighten the intensity of the drama that unfolds, Lost Lullaby reaffirms the human dimension of what is too often an abstract and purely theoretical discussion. During the two months that Andrea spent in the Infant Intensive Care Unit, Ms. Alecson spoke with lawyers, doctors, and ethicists in an effort to understand the legal, medical and ethical implications of her plight. She recounts those discussions and describes legal cases that have a direct bearing on her own situation. Her battle—both in coming to the agonizing decision to let her child die and in convincing the medical and legal establishments to respect that decision—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.

About Deborah Golden Alecson

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Deborah Golden Alecson is a freelance writer and poet who lives with her husband and son in Hartsdale, New York.
Published March 31, 1995 by University of California Press. 207 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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There are brief sections in which she explores the right-to-die literature, the effect of Baby Doe regulations on hospitals and doctors, and the limitations on the rights of parents to make decisions about the future of their handicapped infants, but the core of this story is Alecson's own suffer...

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Readers will at least respond to Alecson's plight in trying to arrange for the death of her severely brain-damaged infant daughter, if not to Alecson, for the tediously self-dramatizing, self-involved author, as her own mother is quoted here as observing, is given to ``obsessing.'' As a result, h...

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