"Doctors told me it was against the rules to save my premature baby."

miss phoenix's picture

I am STUNNED at this article-- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211950/Premature-baby-left-die-doctors-mother-gives-birth-just-days-22-week-care-limit.html. What really stands out to me is that not only was the baby left to die, but the woman wasn't given drugs to prevent the birth from happening; the doctors just stepped aside and said "whatever." WHAT THE FUCK?!? I never knew until I read this that there are 'guidelines' about which premature babies should or shouldn't be treated....it makes me sick to my stomach. Also making my sick to my stomach are some of the comments after the article, ie "These rules were made because the baby is unviable at that age. Yes they can live for a couple of hours. It is sad to see this welfare mother so obsessed with making babies." The rage that statement invokes in me is so sharp it made my hands shake when i read it; when will the day come when women and their children aren't viewed as nuisances because their family doesnt fit the mold of "acceptable"? Not to mention that the article never makes any reference to the woman's economic status. It's just ASSUMED that becuase she's young and unmarried that she must be a "welfare" mother.

I can't help but wonder if the outcome of this story would have been different if the woman had been older, hadn't had 5 previous miscarriages, wasn't assumed to be poor, was married...essentially that she had "deserved" for her child to live.

Comments

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

That's pretty freakin' outrageous! But the saddest part is that understand why they wouldn't help. Why help a baby to live when the chances of it living are so miniscule? But this logic completely ignores and disrespects the mother and her feelings. It would be one thing if she was like "yeah, there's nothing I can do". But she ASKED for help! She WANTED help! Unfortunately, a fetus isn't considered a baby until 22 weeks. 21 weeks and 5 days isn't 22 weeks, I guess. Stinkin' doctors. I'm ranting lol!

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

sunflower's picture
Submitted by sunflower on

No NICU team anywhere will save a 21 gestational week baby. None. It is torture to do life saving measures on a completely nonviable baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a position statement against resuscitation in these circumstances. I link to it here.

Also, unfortunately, modern medical science does not have any working antitocolytic. In other words, once labor really starts, there is nothing that can be done to stop it.

It's not fair; it's excruciating. But, there is nothing that can be done and the health care pracitioners did the best they could with a horrible situation.

Sunflower the unflower

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motormouth's picture
Submitted by motormouth on

That must be about the hardest possible situation a woman could live through, and i'm not sure that her health practitioners counseled her very well. It sounds like they didn't really take the time to help her understand why they wouldn't treat her baby.
But I don't think the decision not to treat her baby was made because of her social status, marital status, miscarriage history, or age. I think it was a medical decision based on the viability of her baby.
I think there is a point at which medical care is torture, and that the most humane thing to do is to let someone go. Although I think it's a terrible position for a family member and very difficult for anyone to accept.
What I think is really outrageous and disgusting is to see all those soapbox comments about why this is an example of why a public health option is a terrible idea. Especially when in the current american system this baby wouldn't have been treated either, and when the US has a pathetic infant mortality rate for babies that are actually viable.

miss phoenix's picture

i agree that there's a point where trying to save someone who is essentially barely living is just torture. BUT-- this baby was only TWO DAYS from the official "cutoff" date, and i would reason that the choice of whether to resucitate/use medical treatment should rest firmly with the parents after they are counselled on the consequences of both choices. this is a baby who lived for two hours, breathing on his own; if his mother was begging for help and was told "tough shit" then that's wrong, imo.

and mannnnn, it didn't even cross my mind that the article being published yesterday was far from a coincidence; D'OH! it makes total sense though, and it appears that it worked because alot of ignorant people jumped to EXACTLY the conclusion you'd assume they would about our healthcare system.

miss phoenix's picture

i didn't know that there isn't a drug to stop preterm labor. i was under the impression that there's something they can give you to delay it, i'm not sure why!

Enelesn's picture
Submitted by Enelesn on

my mother was given them while pregnant with my youngest sisters. Maybe they have stopped doing it? But as of 18 years ago, they were using drugs to stop preterm labor.

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

There are. They gave them to me at 24 weeks. They worked. Don't remember what it's called though.

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

vkitty's picture
Submitted by vkitty on

Because before 22 weeks it's considered a miscarriage, not labor. She was having a miscarriage according to the professionals. I'm not saying that it's right! I'm just saying that's what it was. I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks and to me, that was a baby that died, not a miscarriage. But you're right, she was two days from the cutoff. Surely there was something they could have done to help her out?

"Overcome the angry by non-anger; overcome the wicked by goodness; overcome the miser by generosity; overcome the liar by truth." -Buddha

sunflower's picture
Submitted by sunflower on

Some practitioners use them, but they don't work. If your mother stopped having contractions,she wasn't dilating yet.

The drugs they refused to give the woman in the article were steroids to mature the fetus's lungs, not to prevent labor. Those steroids would be useless on a 21 week old fetus, that is why they did not administer them.

Sunflower the unflower

Mom's Tinfoil Hat
Foodie loves Picky

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