Thursday 18 January 2018

Choices in cases of premature birth are never easy ones to make

A newborn baby in an incubator
A newborn baby in an incubator
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Why is no one talking about that grey area of child birth, that place where a real debate might happen and the two sides might even agree?

When a baby is born prematurely and/or weighs less than 500g, the situation is very complex. Aggressive intervention can be made to try to save the baby; or parents with their doctors can decide to let the survival of the baby take a natural path with minimal intervention and palliative care.

This choice would be akin to the compassionate decision many of us make towards the end of life of a loved one: an instruction to doctors and carers not to resuscitate and not to treat with antibiotics.

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