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Closer vigil on infant care sought in US legislation

Legislation passed by the House of Representatives last week would require states to investigate cases of infants diagnosed as severely handicapped who are denied nutrition or specified medical treatment.

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Under the proposed law, child abuse would be redefined to include denial of certain kinds of treatment. While states have in the past had the option of leaving decisions on child care to parents and physicians, the bill would require states to draw up procedures for reviewing such cases or lose federal funding under the law.

Although the language is far-reaching, it would go no further than recent regulations set up by the Reagan administration. The abuse legislation must win Senate approval to become law.

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