LifeCycle Events: Birth, Bris: The Laws of Defective Children:
What are the laws regarding the care of defective children?
There are lengthy discussions about the institutionalization of
children who have severe physical or mental defects in Nishmas
Avraham, vol.5, pp.57-60 and 79-82. Regarding life-and-death
decisions, such children (or defective adults) have no special
status; even though their quality of life may be very low-grade,
the commandment to preserve life is applicable to them. A guardian,
or even a parent, is not empowered to make life-or-death
decisions even for a mentally incompetent person.
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