Healthcare Officials Want To Let Very Premature Babies Die–Whoa, Do You Agree?

Tue, March 8, 2011 9:37am EDT by 22 Comments

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Premature babies born at 23 weeks should be left to die, according to a UK healthcare boss.

Dr. Daphne Austin, an advisor for the National Health Service (NHS), claims “we are doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers.” She adds that the $16 million of taxpayers money currently dedicated to resuscitating very premature babies should be spent elsewhere.

Doctors in the UK are advised not to attempt to save babies born at 22 weeks and under, because they are too underdeveloped to survive. Those born between 22 and 25 weeks are routinely given intensive care, but only nine percent of babies born so early survive and 99 percent are left with a disability of some kind – most commonly blindness, deafness or cerebral palsy.

Speaking on a new BBC documentary, Dr. Austin says, “We are doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers. I can’t think of very many interventions that have such poor outcomes.” Wow, that seems a little harsh right?

“For me the big issue is that we’re spending an awful lot of money on treatments that have very marginal benefit,” she adds. “I would prefer to free up that money to spend on providing support to people who have much more lifelong chronic conditions.”

How do you feel HollyMoms? Is it kinder on premature babies to let them die than face the strong possibility of disability?

Or is $16 million a small price to pay? The healthcare budget in the UK is $176 BILLION this year!

Share your thoughts with us below!

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Claire

Posted at 3:47 PM on August 2, 2012  

Every baby has a right to be treated weather they are born at 22 weeks or at 40 weeks who gives people the right to say a 40 weeker has more right to medical help than a 22week old baby.

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Els

Posted at 8:08 AM on March 20, 2011  

The child has a very large chance of survival if treated. This is why it is murder to do this. If it was a person who was a vegetable, it would be a different story. Then it is up to the family, married and blood family, whether to pull the plug. It is NOT the government’s decision. But if there’s growth, the child should be given a chance. This story is really sad. Desensitization starts with treating the very young like this. I liked Bush, and I now am not ok with the war. Get your heads out of the sand! Stop blindly following politicians!

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Arusa

Posted at 4:58 PM on March 16, 2011  

This is awful! I myself was born premature and this is terrible to hear! With a health budget of 176 billion can’t you just help them!

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Courtney

Posted at 8:15 AM on March 9, 2011  

um not only premature babies have disablities some that are born late do as well. I should know I was born nearly 2 weeks late 26 years ago and am visually impaired and have aschbergers syndrome. these doctors are heartless jerks who can’t put themselves in the shoes of the parents faced with this kind of situation

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Casey

Posted at 7:50 AM on March 9, 2011  

23 weekers do not have sufficient lung capacity to receive steroids that a 24 weaker does. That is why 24 weeks are considered the point of viability. Surfactant in a babies lungs do not start to develop until 24 weeks.

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rachel s

Posted at 8:30 PM on March 8, 2011  

well it seems Dr. Daphne Austin doesn’t value life. I’m sure if it was her 23 weeker, and had to choose between life and death, I’m sure she would choose life.

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Elisabeth

Posted at 8:05 PM on March 8, 2011  

I find this article to be very offensive. My father was born premature, he had an underdeveloped esophagus and required special care even after he came home. Today he has no health problems or disabilities, and he has been very successful. To think that children like my dad would be left to die, to save money or for any other reason, is appalling. And why is the government deciding this!? This should be the parents’ decision, the government can keep out of these issues!! If there is any chance that my child will survive, I will fight to the end to save his or her life! And most parents would do the same! Who are these ‘healthcare officials’ to tell me that my child or anyone else’s should be left to die?

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Nyema

Posted at 6:50 PM on March 8, 2011  

I’m highly upset with this article. I was a premature baby at 1lbs, 2ounces and i survived it all and not only that my little cousin was also a premie who survived too. So reading this struck a nerve because they deserve a chance to fight just as much as a normal full term baby should!

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Kat

Posted at 2:29 PM on March 8, 2011  

Pisses me off cuz these babies are human beings…premature or not. And who is he to choose the Babys future?! It should be up to the parents!!!

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Stacia

Posted at 2:09 PM on March 8, 2011  

I was born 2 months premature when I was little and right I’m highly offended of this article. Whoever is behind this crap, doesn’t have a cllue of what premature babies go through.Prematurity is serious and it apparently DOES cost alot of money. I cannot believe this is an issue and of course someone thinks this is all about money. OMG, where are the morals, ethics and the thoughtfulness of a human life??? If I plan to have a child (in the future) and he/she is premature, I am going to make sure that my child is healthy and getsall the medical help he/she needs.

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minnie

Posted at 2:03 PM on March 8, 2011  

thats murder if a child breaths air its murder and doctors are supose to save lives not kill stupid ppl make me sick

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dah

Posted at 2:09 PM on March 8, 2011  

so only if the child breaths air, it’s murder. I guess from a legal stand point you might be right – I learned that murder by definition is the ‘unlawful’ taking of a life. but at any time after conception, people still find it OK to take a life ‘legally’ – to kill someone.

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mon239

Posted at 1:57 PM on March 8, 2011  

My son was born at 31 weeks. His lungs were not developed, he had severe jaundice, just a very sick little boy. I have never felt more helpless in all my life. I am very proud to say today he a very happy and healthy teenager. I would have NEVER given up on him or ALLOWED any one else to. While my son was in the NICU two babies passed away, It was devastating not only to the parents but to the doctors and the nurses. When are people going to realize you cannot put a price on human life?! Everybody deserves the right to live, even premies!! I read the article, I this Dr. Austin needs her head examined. Not all Premature babies have medical or developmental issues. Doctors swear an oath, this goes against that and should not be accepted.

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v8slap

Posted at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2011  

I’m not living in the UK. But I do know that the GUARDIAN of the child should make these decisions. I was born at 25 weeks and have no disabilities (side note: what is a disability to one may not be to others). Bottom line: I really think it is up to the legal guardian. This , I am certain, is too controversial of an issue.

If they okay this, they might as well okay assisted voluntary suicide for terminally ill patients. That will save them money. I wouldn’t be surprised if it saved them more money.

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Gale Bourne

Posted at 10:37 AM on March 8, 2011  

I was so sad when I read this article. Has human life has become so insignificant today that a person can quantify its worth in terms of money or time? Will we sink so far in our enlightenment? Where is that great and inspirational human spirit that would immediately and gladly sacrifice ones wealth and time (and even life) for the sake of someone helpless and needy. Those are the heroes I want to tell my children about, to inspire them to be likewise great and heroic. I do not, at any cost, want to explain to them how we saved money and time by making a rational decision to willingly abandon the most helpless among us. How sad. How very sad.

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flora reilly

Posted at 10:34 AM on March 8, 2011  

I’m sickened by this and it is the primary reason I’ve opposed abortions – I knew we would eventually carry it to this level. Are we to consider this a “mercy” killing? I know a brilliant 12 year old boy who survived against all odds born at a weight of under two pounds. Should he have been murdered? Do they consider a premature baby a human being? If so, how can they justify this? I’m beyond appalled, and think this should be publicized and fought furiously. Our global society seems to be less and less interested in preserving and protecting life than it is in protecting its bank accounts.

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dah

Posted at 10:49 AM on March 8, 2011  

i see you are trying to have it both ways: while this is horrible, it’s what I voted for.

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Sam

Posted at 10:31 AM on March 8, 2011  

I think that the final decision should be left to the parents not the medical profession. We have disgustingly allowed the medical profession to become a society of profiteers who seem to have forgotten the meaning of the hippocratic oath.

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jamie

Posted at 10:18 AM on March 8, 2011  

it seems to me that now, more than ever before, doctors and healthcare officials are more concerned with how much things will cost rather than on saving lives. Who are they to decide that having a baby with a disability because of its prematurity is not worth saving? Are they now deciding the quality of life that people will have?
As a person who is going blind, I really think they ought to think about how their own personal values and beliefs are influencing their decisions. Yes, everyone has personal beliefs and values, but the work place, especially healthcare, should not be using their personal beliefs as part of their decision-making.
I wouldn’t be here today if healthcare providers were deciding my fate. And to be honest, I’d rather be blind than not living at all.

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dah

Posted at 10:30 AM on March 8, 2011  

@Jamie, are you in the US. Did you support Obamacare? This is where we are headed. Right now it’s premies at 22 weeks. then someone will decide 26 weeks is too expensive. then 30. And those old folks that want a hip replacement when we only expect them to live 5 – 10 more years – that’s not worth our money. You see where this is going. The govt WILL decide what treatments we get. but maybe calling them ‘death panels’ was a bit extreme? Once you give govt. control, we the people lose control. I’d like to thank all of the idiots that support Obamacare and the rest of the liberal Democrat agenda.

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flora reilly

Posted at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2011  

This idiot proudly says “You’re welcome.”

 
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dah

Posted at 10:46 AM on March 8, 2011  

so while most people think the decision should be left to the parent or guardian, you think it should be up to govt, as it will be once Obama’s vision of universal health care is realized.

 
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