I wrote yesterday about a premature baby [Jayden Capewell, pictured right], who was left to die without being assessed by physicians for viability simply because at the gestational age of 21 weeks and 5 days he was born 2 days shy of the 22-week cut-off point.
I mentioned that I wondered if Britain’s nationalized healthcare program played a part in this baby’s death because of apparent rules cited in the article to withhold treatment of pregnant mothers in premature labor as well as very premature babies.
I’ve been doing more research on this. 1st, the Daily Mail story has been updated from yesterday. Its intro now reads…
Doctors left a premature baby to die because he was born 2 days too early, his devastated mother claimed yesterday.
Sarah Capewell begged them to save her tiny son, who was born just 21 weeks and 5 days into her pregnancy – almost 4 months early.
They ignored her pleas and allegedly told her they were following national guidelines that babies born before 22 weeks should not be given medical treatment.
Miss Capewell, 23, said doctors refused to even see her son Jayden, who lived for almost 2 hours without any medical support.
James Paget Hospital in Norfolk refused to comment on the case but said it was not responsible for setting the guidelines relating to premature births.
A trust spokesman said: “Like other acute hospitals, we follow national guidance from the British Association of Perinatal Medicine regarding premature births.”
Miss Capewell, who has had 5 miscarriages, said the guidelines had robbed her son of a chance of life.
She said he was breathing unaided, had a strong heartbeat and was even moving his arms and legs, but medics refused to admit him to a special care baby unit.
Miss Capewell is now fighting for a review of the medical guidelines.
Medics allegedly told her that they would have tried to save the baby if he had been born 2 days later, at 22 weeks.
In fact, the medical guidelines for [National] Health Service hospitals state that babies should not be given intensive care if they are born at less than 23 weeks.
The guidance… is not compulsory but advises doctors that medical intervention for very premature children is not in the best interests of the baby, and is not “standard practice.”…
Guidance limiting care of the most premature babies provoked outrage when it was published 3 years ago….
Medical intervention would be given for a child born between 22 and 23 weeks only if the parents requested it and only after discussion about likely outcomes.
The rules… are followed by NHS hospitals….
The NHS spends an estimated £1 billion a year on their care….
As I said, I did more research on this and found that “Health Service” hospitals are part of the National Health Service (NHS), according to Wikipedia:
… the publicly-funded healthcare system in England…. The NHS provides healthcare to anyone normally resident in the United Kingdom with most services free at the point of use for the patient…. The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England…. The NHS is largely funded from general taxation….
James Paget Hospital, where Sarah labored and where Jayden was born, is an NHS hospital, according to Wiki.
The article also stated Capewell “was told that because she had not reached 22 weeks, she was not allowed injections to try to stop the labour, or a steroid injection to help to strengthen her baby’s lungs.”
This is a glaring example of the threat of nationalized healthcare to provide poor – or no – care to mothers in premature labor and very premature babies.