The Lazarus Case: Life-and-Death Issues in Neonatal Intensive Care (Medicine and Culture)

The Lazarus case, life and death issues in neonatal intensive care
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Search for this keyword. In Lantos's model case, a doctor decides to stop resuscitation of a premature infant, a tiny "preemie" who seems past reasonable care.

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The baby survives with severe neurological defects and the parents sue the doctor, alleging that stopping treatment was negligent. From this case, Lantos considers our moral obligations to critically ill babies, the meaning of negligence, and the sorts of social structures that shape the moral consciences of doctors.

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Each chapter begins with Lantos deposing in the conference room of the plaintiffs' lawyers. The questions put to Lantos throughout the deposition spark an engrossing retelling of his personal experiences with premature babies, as well as his thoughtful discussions of ethics, morality, history, and medical statistics. Sprinkled throughout the book are references to fictional works by Camus, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare, Twain, and others.