Bioethics Blogs

Hawaii Born Alive Infant Protection Act

The Hawaii House of Representatives is considering H.B. 2763, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act.  This bill would prohibit denying or depriving a born alive infant of nourishment or medically appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.

Interestingly, the bill applies only to infants born as the result of an attempted abortion.  It seems that an interest in protecting potential infant life would extend to protecting those infants both other than through an attempted abortion.  

The bill’s treatment requirement is not categorical.  It has a medical futility provision.  It exempts treatment that would only “temporarily prolong the act of dying when death is imminent.”  But not limiting the application of the bill to the abortion context could protect disabled (e.g. Trisomy 18) and extremely premature infants among others.  If Hawaii wants to protect potential infant life, it seems oddly under-inclusive to limit it to this one class.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.