Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two Days Too Young — Unworthy Of Living

In the eyes of those who deny personhood to the unborn, a premature baby could be still "unperson", ("just a fetus",) if, in their opinion, he was born way too early.
GORLESTON, UK, September 9, 2009 ( - A young British mother has criticized medical guidelines that, she said, resulted in doctors refusing treatment and leaving her newborn premature son to die. 23 year-old Sarah Capewell told media that her son Jayden, born at 21 weeks and five days gestation, was refused intensive care because he was two days under the limit set by the British government's National Health Service (NHS) rationing guidelines.

Capewell said that her son Jayden cried and lived for two hours before dying in her arms. During that time, his mother took photos of him and pleaded with doctors that he be admitted to the special baby unit at James Paget University Hospital (JPH). Staff at the hospital, in Gorleston, Norfolk, told her that had Jayden been born two days later they would have helped him.

Since her son's death, Capewell has launched an internet campaign to change the guidelines and says that she has received messages of support from around the world.

Health care rationing guidelines set down by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics in 2006 say that intensive care should never be given to babies below 22 weeks gestation, and rarely to those below 23 weeks. In secular bioethics, this is called Futile Care Theory, which holds that in cases where there is no hope for improvement of an incapacitating condition, such as extreme prematurity, no treatment should be offered.
Who gave them the right to decide whose life is worthy of living and whose life - isn't? Even if there was no way a premature baby at 215/7 weeks could be saved - they should have tried to save his life anyway, because that's what hospital is for - to save lives, not to take away lives. But they chose to abide by their health service rationing guidelines.

Notice the word rationing. (Healthcare for me, but not for thee.) A baby is a baby, even if he was born way ahead of schedule. Denying treatment to a premature baby (regardless of the gestational age) is nothing but a cold-blooded murder. Not sure, if Canada too has such "rationing" guidelines. If there are such guidelines in Canada - they must be abolished.

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