H. William Taeusch is a professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California-San Francisco. His short stories have appeared in Manhattan Literary Review, Southern Indiana Review, Gold Man Review, and elsewhere.
It’s 1984, and after an unexpected pregnancy, assistant professor Sophia Shulder learns that her newborn baby has Down syndrome and life-threatening anomalies that require immediate risky surgeries. Under pressure to give consent, Sophia is not sure whether that is best for her baby, or for herself. The hospital, threatened by the Reagan administration’s new “Baby Doe” laws, launches legal proceedings to force surgery. Is a severely disabled baby’s death ever preferable to life? Who decides?