HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, April 1, 2011

Prosecutors and Pregnancy

Imagine your daughter is pregnant and living with her partner, the father-to-be of the child.  Her partner leaves her, and your daughter becomes severely depressed.  Driven to despair, she attempts suicide by swallowing rat poison.  Doctors are able to save her life, and they deliver her viable fetus by cesarean section.  The baby survives for a few days before dying from the poison.  If your daughter lives in Indianapolis, the prosecutor will file murder charges against her. 

I’ve roughly described the facts in State of Indiana v. Shuai, a case in which I’ve also authored an amicus brief  on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, other medical groups and individuals in support of a motion to dismiss charges against Ms. Shuai. 


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