Dorothy Howe Brooks

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Life Support

Brooks, Dorothy Howe

Last Updated: Aug-30-2006
Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story


In "Life Support," a mother must make a difficult decision: whether or not to consent to heart surgery without anesthesia for her critically ill newborn who is on a ventilator. Her instincts and reason contradict each other, and she isn’t sure which to believe. She wants to let the child die naturally in her arms, but this will not be allowed in this particular institution. She feels distant from her husband and from the doctors, and believes that her sudden transformation into the guardian of this child presumes far more knowledge and ability than she possesses.

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