Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Baby had 'no right' to live, say NHS doctors

Bereaved mother's campaign against medical guidelines that allow premature babies to die

A mother who watched her premature baby die when doctors refused to help him has condemned medical guidelines which said he should not be saved.

Sarah Capewell gave birth to a baby son when she was 21 weeks and 5 days into her pregnancy. Her pleas to doctors and midwives to admit the newborn to a special care baby unit were rejected.

Staff at James Paget Hospital, in Gorleston, Norfolk, told her that if her son Jayden had been born two days later, at 22 weeks, they would have tried to help him.

Instead, Miss Capewell, who had previously suffered five miscarriages, says she was told the child had "no right" to life, by doctors, who refused to even see the baby, which lived for almost two hours without any support.

Medical guidance for NHS hospitals says the low chance of survival for babies born below 23 weeks means they should not be given interventions which could cause suffering.

Miss Capewell says her increasingly desperate pleas to assist her baby were met with a brusque response from doctors, who said she should consider the labour as a miscarriage, rather than a birth.

When she implored a paediatrician: "You have got to help" he responded: "No we don't".

After asking doctors to consider his human right to life, she claims she was told: "He hasn't got a human right, he is a foetus".
22 weeks good, 2 days less bad.

Source: The Telegraph


Henry North London said...

More Policy rubbish It really is frightening, no feelings left You might aswell be treated by robots.

JuliaM said...

I think I'd prefer robots...

Dr. Liz Miller said...

this is lacking in compassion to a level inhumanity that no other species could stoop to