In what will most certainly end up a torts case, Christ Hospital in Jersey City, New Jersey has reportedly admitted that it threw out the body of a baby in the trash. The still grieving mother, Kalynn Moore, 26, was informed that they cannot locate the body of her son Bashere Davon Moyd Jr., as police search garbage dumps in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There is now concern that the baby may have been incinerated in Kentucky.
The baby had gone eight months in the womb when the delivery occurred. After the boy died, Moore’s cousin Nicia Royster went with a nurse to place the corpse into the hospital’s morgue.
There is also a dispute as to whether the baby was born alive. The hospital insists that the baby was stillborn and says that it is praying for the family. It may have to do a bit more than pray. The common law has long placed the mishandling of corpses in a special category — placing greater liability on hospital, funeral homes, transportation companies and other businesses that handle the dead. These cases regularly arise, here and here and here. A typical case, as here involves the lack of refrigeration or other negligence.
Under New Jersey law, if a baby is born stillborn, it is not consider human — making a considerable difference in terms of tort liability.
The dispute of the baby’s status at birth makes the disappearance of the body even more problematic. If there was malpractice, the body would the key piece of evidence after an autopsy. Without the body, the family will be left with conjecture through the use of res ipsa loquitur (where a jury is allowed to find that an injury would not normally occur but for negligence). How a court will handle such a dispute will be interesting. Often when one party destroys evidence, the court will order certain inferences be given to the other party. However, it is doubtful that the court would order an inference of malpractice or key elements unless the family can show an intentional act of destruction. They would still have a strong case under mishandling but wrongful death generally bring higher damages. There is a possibility if punitive damages, however, in this case.
9 thoughts on “Christ Hospital: New Jersey Hospital Throws Dead Baby Into The Trash”
The funny thing is that I’m a moderately observant Jewish Deist, so we’re probably not that far apart religiously. However, I have done a lot of reading about other religions and respect them for the basic philosophy of all, which Christian’s know as The Golden Rule and to Jew’s as Rabbi Hillel’s Formulation. It really does serve as the basis of most religions and is a strong philosophical statement when applied to the questions of life.
I find it annoying that religious zealots of all stripes ignore their own religious tenets in the service of their bigotry and lust for secular power. The anti-Abortion Movement in this country is really nothing about the well being of children and all about the repression of women and human sexuality. It appals me the ignorance of their own teachings that these faux religionists exhibit.
A great contribution that you have made to this site is showing that there is a different, more authentic, conservative belief that represents nothing like the faux conservative bilge that is spewed by people using its’ cover to gain personal advantage. If the US is ever going to shed its current malaise it will take people of integrity from both sides of the political spectrum to reach consensus and provide real change.
Regarding the reply to YA’LL…
Give ‘em heck Mike S.!
Although I am completely irreligious, I enjoy reading beliefs of religious people who successfully rebut the hypocrisies of people of extreme faith who often corrupt and further harm the goodwill intent of many faith-based philosophies/religions.
It’s irrelevant to me that the baby was one hour, one day or nine months old. The hospital’s actions in not allowing the family to choose what to do with the child was totally unacceptable and reflects the callousness with which health care is provided in our country. Single Payer Now. I say this as one who has been blessed with excellent health insurance that has kept me alive thus far and who will not personally benefit from health care reform. however, I worry about my children, grandchildren and all the other American citizens who have not been as lucky as myself.
YA’ALL WERE DUPED,
Ya’all are so ignorant it’s appalling. No doubt in your presumed “Right to Life” beliefs, abortion is bad, but death penalty, torture, Iraq Murders and failure to provide health care for children is good and moral. You have a right to practice your religious beliefs, just don’t interfere with mine. Perhaps too, you should study the Gospels and what Jesus actually said and believed, rather than Revelations, which is not in the spirit of Jesus. Then you might realize that Jesus was trying to found a religion based on loving and caring for one’s neighbor, rather than the hatred and fear spewed by your religious leaders. Ya’All don’t have a clue as to what your religion is about, because you’d rather have it interpreted for you by frauds such as Dobson, Falwell, Hagee and Robertson, rather than puzzle it out for yourself as Martin Luther advised, based on Jesus’ wisdom. Finally, Ya’all Jesus was categorically against divorce so how come you Red State conservative types have far greater divorce rates than us liberals.
Now if they had just aborted it, it would have just been a FETUS and nobody on the left would have given it a thought……
If it’s not human, then just what the hell is it?
A puppy? A skeleton that happens to have skin and organs?
This story is very upsetting. I could not imagine going through what this poor woman is going through.
Somebody screwed up BIG time on this one
Conventionally, one starts counting a baby’s age from the date it comes out of the mother. When a baby is born, we don’t consider it to be 9 months old, we say it’s one day old, although technically it can be considered 9 months old.
Given the facts presented above, it would be conventional to say the baby was X days old.
Good point and that is probably what Mespo was getting at and I missed it.
“… eight-month-old baby …”
I think we have an eight DAY old baby, hence the dispute over whether the child was still-born or not. I note with interest that the a hospital spokesman says “the institution is praying for the baby’s family.” I had no idea an “institution” could pray, or apparently even “care.”
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