Monday, November 2, 2009

Too Young to Resuscitate?

In the course of the debate over health care reform, some of the political rhetoric has focused on "rationing" and the idea of how much money can or should be spent on someone at the end of his or her life. But as care evolves, similar debates may someday surround how much can be spent at life's beginning.

Few cases illustrate this as starkly as a baby born prematurely at 21 weeks and five days in Britain last month, who died as doctors declined to resuscitate him. Sarah Capewell, the mother of the deceased infant, started Justice for Jayden, a bid to change the guidelines for early preterm babies in the United Kingdom.

The doctors in the case were following guidelines that establish viability for babies in the U.K. at 22 weeks.

Read the full report here.


Marie said...

Hi! Medical ethics is such a very sensitive topic. Firstly the laws are so different all over the world. The issue of pre-mature births is especially touchy. I for one think that in todays advanced technological world a child born as early as 18 weeks can be saved.
The parents and medical profession are left with the questions of 'will the baby have defects''can the baby be supported to good health''is it worth saving this child and using up resources to do it''if it were in any other decade the child would be declared not living'.
I know that my niece was born at 19 weeks she was so tiny she fit in the palm of you hand. Yes she spent four months in hospital in Australia, tied up to machines and a heart operation to go with her tiny body, but they saved her. She has grown up to be a lovely daughter and wife living wonderfully and in good health.
I guess in the end it is up to the parents after they hear what the doctors say, thats if the parents are informed of options.
It is a very touchy subject that needs to be discussed further.
cheers marie

Alice C. Linsley said...

Marie, Thanks so much for sharing that story.

Unknown said...

Hi Marie, I would really like you to contact me if possible. I hope you don't mind but I thought your story may help me with the campaign. Please could you get in touch if at all possible.

Many Thanks
Sarah Capewell x