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!