Wednesday, April 5, 2006

U.K. Obstetricians Blast 'Bed-Blocking' Preemies

A person's a person, no matter how small — unless he or she is using valuable resources that could be used to support a better-abled individual, according to Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The Norwich Evening News reports:

Research to be presented at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's annual conference later this month shows babies born at 25 weeks or under cost almost three times as much to educate by the time they turn six as those born at full term.

In its response to an in-depth inquiry into premature babies by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the RCOG writes: "Some weight should be given to the economic considerations (of neonatal intensive care) as there is a real issue in neonatal units of 'bed blocking', whereby women have to be transferred in labour to other units, compromising both their and their babies' care. One of the problems of the 'success' of neonatal intensive care is that the practitioners are always pushing the boundaries. There has been a constant need to expand numbers of cots to cover the increasing tendency to try to rescue baby at lower and lower gestations."
The article notes that the current abortion limit in Britain is 24 weeks.

I don't believe it's a coincidence that the United Kingdom's obstetricians and gynecologists, whose job includes providing state-funded abortions, are out to prove that babies 24 weeks and younger don't deserve to live. After all, the more premature babies survive and thrive, the more it proves that the abortions performed on babies the same age are truly murder.

It's the same line of thinking that infects abortion supporters in the United States who oppose efforts to call unborn babies persons. After all, it's not politically correct to call abortion murder. Keep calling it simply "abortion" or better yet, "pregnancy termination," and everyone's conscience will be clear.

The Evening News also has an excellent trio of interviews with parents of premature babies and with children who were born prematurely. Here are excerpts and links to the articles:
  • "Mum-of-six fuming at 'bed-blocking' row":
    When Carol Watts started to go into labour at 24 weeks, she feared her baby would not survive.

    This week, at home with her daughter Tara, now 12, she hit back at claims that premature babies are bed blockers and a burden to the NHS.

    Mrs Watts, now 43, called Carol White at the time of the birth in 1993, was taken from her home in Elizabeth Fry Road, Earlham, to King's Lynn hospital when she was about to go into labour at 23 weeks pregnant. ...

    "It was really scary when she was born weighing 1lb 5oz. She was so tiny; her skin was almost transparent and I was terrified."

    When medical professionals from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists spoke out this week saying that babies born before 25 weeks are blocking beds and resources that could be used on healthy babies, Mrs Watts was angry and upset.

    "It just really got to me to hear that; it makes me angry because many babies do make it and have got to be given the very best chance.
  • "Our boy survived against all the odds":
    Mrs. Vettese, 35, ... said she had been shocked to read the suggestions that babies such as her own should routinely be denied treatment. She said: "I was even more horrified because my baby did have to be resuscitated at birth so they wouldn't have done that at all if they had been working to that system.

    "We had a 24 week and three days baby. He was born on December 9 and his due date was March 28. He's a perfectly normal, healthy baby and we feel very strongly about this issue because the care we had at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital was absolutely amazing.

    "We had been trying for a baby for years, so it was really special for us that they gave us the opportunity to go ahead and bring him through."
  • "Tiny twins had to wear doll's clothes":
    Once they were so tiny they had to wear doll's clothes and so fragile that one of them "died" twice. Now, twins Daniel and Oliver Hammond are just like any other typical, healthy teenagers.

    The brothers, now 14, were born more than two months early, on November 14, 1992 and rather than gain weight as the days went by they lost it, prompting fears that they would not survive.

    But thanks to the dedicated care of nursing staff, then based at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, both boys pulled through.

    Their mother Louise Hammond ... said she had been shocked to read that some medical experts were now recommending that babies born at 25 weeks or under should not be given treatment, regardless of whether they appeared healthy or not.

    Mrs Hammond said: "You can't take someone's life if you don't know whether they are going to live or die. We've got to give them a chance. A baby should be given a chance after 22 or 23 weeks, rather than say 'right, no treatment'."