What if it was your premature baby!

What if it was yours?

It always strikes me as disturbing how fierce arguments over the right time to let unborn babies live and the need to let premature babies die coincide at around 23 or 24 weeks.

Where termination is concerned, a 24-week old baby is considered too far developed to have its life snuffed out. At the same stage a premature baby is, apparently, too expensive to be allowed to live.

The BBC2 documentary 23 Weeks: The Price Of Life examined the arguments for leaving babies born at 23 weeks to pass away without resuscitation or medical intervention.

Behind the arguments effectively to bin life at its early stages is, of course, money.

The price of life is seemingly too high for the liking of some highly-paid NHS officials – like Dr Daphne Austin, for instance.

Doctor Austin, an adviser to local health trusts, says keeping early babies alive is only prolonging their agony.

Funds would be better spent on care for cancer sufferers or the disabled.

This concerning film did much to promote and support Dr Austin’s arguments – a bit of a worry in itself – which were anchored in cash.

She said the NHS was spending around £10m a year resuscitating babies born early and keeping them alive in incubators and on ventilators.

But despite round-the-clock care from teams of experienced doctors and nurses, just nine per cent left hospital – the rest died. And only one in 100 would grow up without some form of disability – the most common including blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.

One in 100. Is that one baby worth the expense and effort required for a fight for life?

It most definitely is, if it’s your baby.

First published at 08:57, Saturday, 12 March 2011
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Anne Pickles

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