A controversial claim has been made by a leading National Health Service official who states that babies born at 23 weeks or earlier should be left to die.
Dr Daphne Austin's claim is that keeping prematurely-born babies alive is to draw out their agony over a longer period when it can be over quickly. She suggests that the immense amount of money - about Ģ10 million a year - spent so futilely on resuscitating and sustaining these babies could be used to help people who are struggling with diseases like cancer.
AdvertisementParents need to make this heartbreaking decision whether to resuscitate their babies or not and sometimes their determination to keep their baby alive is rewarded, as in the case of little Molly Griffiths who is now a healthy 11-year old just because her parents did not give up.
Nevertheless, reality is just 9%of 23-week-old babies survive and go home and only one in 100 grows up without some form of disability. Most are affected by blindness, deafness or cerebral palsy and sadly, many die.
The NHS having to accept cutbacks in its funding and the legal limit for abortion being 24 weeks, could it be acceptable to withdraw from sustaining life at 23 weeks?
That is the dilemma posed by Dr. Austin's debatable stand.