NHS Puts Budgets Over Babies

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Baby Tom survived for 46 minutes

Mother’s fury over ‘no revival’ policy after seeing 22-week-old son die despite his 46min battle to live
Southend Hospital in Essex has a policy of only treating babies born after 24 weeks.  Southend is directed by the National Health Service which is the publicly-funded healthcare system in England.
Imagine the horror that Tracy Godwin experienced when she went into labor at 22 weeks and her baby Tom was born alive and the hospital refused to treat her premature baby. The heartbroken mother said she begged doctors to help her struggling baby but they refused because they do not intervene when a baby is less than 24 weeks old.
Tracy gave birth to son Tom on March 6 last year, just 12 days short of the threshold for treatment. “We couldn’t understand why no one was helping him,” said Tracy, from Southend, Essex. “If he had been stillborn it would have been different but he tried to live. We were begging them to do something for him.” An inquest will now be held into her baby’s death.
“They gave me a room called the Butterfly Room, which had a double bed so my partner could stay. They never told me it was for women who were going to lose their babies.” She added that doctors never told her they would not help her son when he was born and she never doubted he would be offered every assistance.
According to Dr. Daphne Austin, who advises local health trusts how to spend their budgets, doctors were “doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers” and that treatments have “very marginal benefit”. She added only 1 in 100 grows up without some form of disability. The most common include blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.
While Southend Hospital chooses not to treat babies born before 24 weeks it is up to individual NHS trusts to decide their own policy on this contentious issue. Recently a leading NHS official said babies born after just 23 weeks or earlier should be left to die.
Yes, despite the fact that NHS that claims it’s core principles are to meet the needs of everyone and provide a comprehensive range of services, apparently that only applies if you are 24 weeks or older.

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0 responses to “NHS Puts Budgets Over Babies

  1. All you folk who voted Demo-rat… when healthcare reform doubles your taxes for this, don’t be surprised.

  2. If you scroll down in the article you’ll see a survey that asks, “Is it right that some hospitals won’t resuscitate babies born less than 24 weeks old?” Disturbing that the vote is so close at 49% YES and 51% NO…

  3. lowtechgrannie

    I remember seeing a roundtable panel of doctors discussing medical ethics on PBS years ago. They were discussing this very situation. I remember being horrified when they concluded that it was a waste of valuable resources to try to preserve the lives of premature infants because of the cost and the fact that premature babies that survive have a poor quality of life.
    I have a 25 year old nephew who was born at 24 weeks weighing in at 1 lb 4 oz. The first time I saw him in the neonatal clinic at UW hospital he weighed 11 oz! He survived and although he has some disabilities, he is a constant delight to our family and everyone who meets him.
    Those doctors on the ethics panel’s defined “quality of life” in very narrow terms 20 years ago. I shudder to think how much more narrowly it will be defined under Obamacare.

  4. If John Bonehead & Co. doesn’t pull the plug on CommieCare PDQ, this sort of thing will become common right here in America very soon.
    What is wrong with those people?

  5. The paper this was lifted from is without question the most disgustingly skewed rag on the shelves over here.
    While I can’t talk about this case without breaking data protection laws, I can confirm that the way this was reported has made me seriously doubt that anything we see in the papers is as clear-cut as they would have us believe.


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