November 15th, 2006


Doing Nothing For Premature Babies

'Do not revive' earliest babies

I was amazed when I heard this on the radio this morning. They actually want to put an arbitrary cut off point on how old a premature baby is before it will deemed capable of surviving?

OK, a baby that young is very unlikely to survive, but surely it should be given a chance?

Also, doctors aren't infallible what if they get it wrong and the baby is actually older? How can you put such a rigid cut off point on assisting a baby's chance for life?

I may disagree with it, but I could understand a suggestion of putting babies so young that they are unlikely to survive out of their misery, but they don't even want to do that.

How can doing nothing be the best solution? Surely it has to be a case of giving the baby the best chance of life we can (which I personally think we should do) or, if we are going to rule out any possibility that they are going to survive, of taking actions to shorten any suffering?