Controversial view: Virginia Ironside believes nature should decide whether premature babies survive.

Yes the number of premature babies born weighing 2lbs or less has increased in the last several years, and yes their survival is miraculous.

Yet again yes these very premature babies survive due to the many advances of modern medicine.

Yes many of the premature babies that do survive have to cope with cerebral palsy, bowel, kidney, respiratory or development problems.

Virginia Ironside is on record as having said in the Mail Online.

Many will also have bowel, kidney, and respiratory or developmental problems. Often, the hours spent waiting in hope at the side of an incubator as these tiny babies battle for life will be replaced in later weeks, months and years by hours inserting feeding tubes, doing painful physiotherapy work, or comforting a child in distress.

Faced with a desperately premature and undeveloped baby, I can’t help but wonder whether in some instances it is the right thing to fight to keep them alive.

Should modern medicine be saving these babies who often face a life dominated by pain and illness? I feel uncomfortable saying this, but I don’t believe it should in every case.

Why do I feel this way? A lot of people say that life is worth preserving at any cost. And yes, thankfully, some of these extremely premature children will have healthy, happy lives. Every one must be counted a blessing.

But the sad fact is that it is a huge gamble to resuscitate a premature baby, and may risk bequeathing those tiny babies a lifetime of agony.

Often there is a reason a child is born early – because they have either a disability or weakness. Isn’t this Mother Nature’s way of saying that they are not meant for this world?

But then we intervene with all our gadgets and scientific advances. Sometimes, of course – and I can’t emphasise this enough – intervention can be absolutely the right thing to do.

There is nothing more heartening than reading the story of a baby that has triumphed against the odds, who has passed its milestones unscathed by his or her premature birth.

But often prolonging the life of a tiny baby that would otherwise have died can be irresponsible.

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Whilst I acknowledge Virginia’s right to her opinions, I strongly feel that it is the parents of these premature babies, who if given all the relevant medical information regarding their babies health and the possible difficulties that might affect their baby in the future should be the ones to make decisions regarding what is right for their baby.

There have been cases in the news where babies born before 24 weeks have been refused medical intervention, despite the pleas of parents.  These very premature babies may not have survived even if medical intervention was given, however these babies are left to die and their parents left wondering what if.

How can we as a modern caring society in all conscience refuse to give babies born before 24 weeks medical intervention?  Even if many of these babies don’t survive we will have at least given the parents the knowledge that everything that could be done to save their babies was done.  Grieving parents would not be left wondering what if, or spend the rest of their lives thinking if only.

Yes medical intervention costs money, but when did the human race start putting a price on life?

No parent deserves to be left with such heart wrenching thoughts that will without doubt haunt them for their rest of their lives.

There are numerous news articles written about premature babies who survive against all the odds who grow up to lead happy, healthy lives, so who is to say which premature baby shouldn’t receive medical intervention, which babies quality of life would be seriously compromised; indeed who determines the marker for an acceptable quality of life?

It is my personal belief that every premature baby born, no matter how early, how tiny, how high the odds are against their survival should be given every medical assistance required for the chance of a future life if that is the parents wish.

I encourage everyone to post their own views on the subject; all comments will be checked for inappropriate language before being approved.

For premature baby clothes in sizes from 1lb upwards please visit our main website Prem2pram

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