Preemie survival rates more than doubled

by Bethany Kerr

From Guardian Unlimited, February 1:

pree.jpg

Survival rates fuel abortion debate

The row over the 24-week abortion limit has intensified after it emerged survival rates for very premature babies have more than doubled at a top hospital.

A study from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) found survival rates for babies born alive between 22 and 25 weeks of gestation rose from 32% in 1981 to 71% in 2000....

The professor behind the research said it showed what could be achieved if staffing levels were kept consistent and adequate resources were pumped into units.

But many experts back the findings of the EPICure study of all UK units, which has indicated little improvement between 1995 and 2006 in the rates of survival to discharge home for babies born below 24 weeks gestation.

UCLH neonatal consultant, Professor John Wyatt, led the new study and gave evidence to last year's Commons science and technology committee, which found no scientific justification for lowering the 24-week limit.

He said the EPICure study gave much lower survival rates than he had found "and it has been argued that there has been no improvement in survival across the country as a whole since EPICure was undertaken in 1995.

"However, studies which average the results from a large number of maternity units obscure the effects of very marked variations in resources, staffing and experience in the care of extremely premature infants.

"It is also plausible that ethical and clinical policies vary between different units and there is published evidence to show that this will have an effect on survival rates."

Prof Wyatt said he fully acknowledged that his study had limitations because it only looked at a small number of babies.

But he said such studies were "hugely important because they provide information on the survival rates that can be achieved with consistent levels of staffing and resources, and with consistent policies."

Are abortion proponents going to try to stop proper resources going to hospitals so premature babies born under 25 weeks won't survive?

[HT: Valerie Ryan, 2 Seconds Faster]


Comments:

"Are abortion proponents going to try to stop proper resources going to hospitals so premature babies born under 25 weeks won't survive?"

That would be so evil, but it really wouldn't surprise me. I guess we'll see.

Posted by: rosie at February 4, 2008 4:43 PM


I would like to think rosie is being cynical, but then I remember Hillary Care, that would just toss babies less than 500 grams (which would have included my best friend's daughter) out with the medical waste in the interests of saving money.

I'd say it depends on why the person in question endorses abortion, and so forth. For people who support abortion for "pragmatic" reasons (population control, eugenics, hoping to reduce the welfare roles, etc.) I'd say that yes, they want to yank care from preemies. But those who edorse abortion because they are invested in giving women the CHOICE about a dead baby versus a live one, they support NICU care because it's given to babies whose moms WANT them to live.

Though this might make an excellent wedge issue if we start forcing the more heartless among the prochoice to come right out and say they oppose NICU care.

Posted by: Christina at February 4, 2008 5:28 PM


Sweet. More fodder for canons.

Being a former preemie myself this is nice but not in the same way that you people seem to think. This is nice because these women choose to keep their children and due to complications had to give birth early. That these women don't have to suffer through a born baby dieing is *BLEEP* fantastic.

Posted by: Obnoxious at February 4, 2008 5:51 PM


Um, that language is not for children...

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 4, 2008 5:57 PM


Children read this blog? Cool!

Hey kids! Don't do drugs and stay in school, kay?!

Posted by: Obnoxious at February 4, 2008 6:20 PM


Sweet baby!

Posted by: Carla at February 4, 2008 6:32 PM


Obnoxious -

Please watch your language. We try to keep this a blog for everyone.

thanks

Posted by: valerie at February 4, 2008 6:40 PM


I think what bothers me the most is the negativity surrounding the findings by the "many experts".

This should be positive and not negative. This should be a reason to make sure NICU facilities can provide the most up to date technology so these babies will survive.

I watched my son fight for his life when he was born over 2 months early. I saw babies who were born 3 months early and they were doing better than he did! I was in one of the best hospitals and had access to the best children's hospital in Indiana and also transporting distance to the best childrens hospital in Ohio. Not that many people have that, but it should be something that everyone has access to.

The fight over when viability is for gestational age is going to try to get into the rights of the mother's who choose life. Read the first sentence from the article again. If too many babies start to survive before 24 weeks, then the medical world will have no choice but to say that viabiltiy begins before that, that is why the "many experts" are trying to find reason to say how "uncommon" this is when in reality it can be very common if proper resources were provided.

Posted by: valerie at February 4, 2008 6:54 PM


The baby in that picture is soooo sweet. Ohhh I just can't take the sweetness..I think I might burst.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 4, 2008 7:15 PM


My question is who pays for the whopping cost of keeping extreme preemies alive and well for the probable lifetime disabilities many have to deal with? Britain has socialized medicine. The US does not. In a country where conservatives refuse to provide health care for children born full term and healthy, I can't imagine them forking out the dough these poor children will need to live decently for a perhaps a lifetime.
And hey. I have a nephew that costs/and will cost tax payers a pretty penny being born very premature to military parents.

Posted by: Sally at February 4, 2008 8:08 PM


The baby in that picture is soooo sweet. Ohhh I just can't take the sweetness..I think I might burst.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 4, 2008 7:15 PM
................................

Control yourself Elizabeth. If you pinch it, it might burst. Heck, if you touch it, you might kill it.

Posted by: Sally at February 4, 2008 8:10 PM


I would like to think rosie is being cynical, but then I remember Hillary Care, that would just toss babies less than 500 grams (which would have included my best friend's daughter) out with the medical waste in the interests of saving money.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can't find that anywhere.
Do you have a link?

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 4, 2008 8:33 PM


Are abortion proponents going to try to stop proper resources going to hospitals so premature babies born under 25 weeks won't survive?

Has nothing to do with the abortion debate. For wanted pregnancies, here's hoping that 23 and 24 weekers survive and do well. Prior to that, the odds are so much against it that it's largely a moot point, though of course it's still sad for a couple with a wanted pregnancy to lose it.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 4, 2008 9:04 PM


Sally -

My son was born over 2 months early. He is 5 1/2 years old and gets services through the "no child left behind act" in the school. He received First step services which provided him with physical therapy, occupational therapy and speach therapy until the age of 3. He is still receiving speach therapy and treatment for sensory issues through early childhood development.

All this was paid for by my taxes and your taxes.

"In a country where conservatives refuse to provide health care for children born full term and healthy"

Do you not know about WIC? Do you not know about Aid to Dependent Children? How about Title IV of the social security act? What about Food stamps? or medicaid? Exactly how are healthy children not being taken care of? I just named off 5 programs in about 1 minute.....I wonder what I could find out if I actually did research?

Everything with the PC'ers is about money. Why do you put a monetary value on human life? Why is it so important to you how these babies treatments get paid for? Especially with private grants and donations that children's hospitals receive to help with parents who can't afford it. St. Jude, Rileys, Cincinnati Children's hosptial, St. Vincent's (now Peyton Manning) Children's hospital...all come to mind... all these hospitals get private grants from pharmicutical companies and private donations.

Is it okay with you that these babies live now? Since it is more than just tax dollars that help parents choose life? Or do you still want to cry that our tax money is actually going to save lives instead of terminating them.

Posted by: valerie at February 4, 2008 9:18 PM


Doug,
All babies are wanted. By God and by someone willing to adopt them if their parents do not wish to raise. Oh, and by me!!

Posted by: Carla at February 4, 2008 9:47 PM



I would like to think rosie is being cynical, but then I remember Hillary Care, that would just toss babies less than 500 grams (which would have included my best friend's daughter) out with the medical waste in the interests of saving money.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can't find that anywhere.
Do you have a link?

Posted by: FetusFascist at February 4, 2008 8:33

PM

Miscarried babies or stillborns under this weight are routinely thrown away as medical waste without their parents knowledge or consent.

Only a handful of states have passed laws giving notice to parents to inform them of their "choice" on how they may want to bury thier baby.

We tried to pass a similar law in my state, but gee, the PC side got involved and stopped this from going anywhere in the senate.

So much for "choice" when it comes to parents actually wanting to respectfully say goodbye to their babies.

Posted by: Sandy at February 4, 2008 9:58 PM


All babies are wanted. By God and by someone willing to adopt them if their parents do not wish to raise. Oh, and by me!!

Carla, I accept that you believe as you do, but I do not see that as a good enough reason to deny a woman the legal right to have an abortion. There is no proof of any gods.

Some people are willing to take babies, but there are 150,000+ kids in the US, alone, languishing in foster or state care, waiting for adoption, now.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 4, 2008 10:08 PM


Doug, 10:08PM,

..which makes me wonder why celebrities are flying all over the world treating third world orphanages like they're flea markets, and ordinary people are spending thousands on overseas adoptions, when they could just as easily call the nearest social service agency and find American children of every race, ethnicity, age, and gender in desperate need of homes.

Posted by: Mary at February 4, 2008 11:12 PM


@Sandy

Nice info. What is your source? Please?

And whos talking about aborting wanted fetuses? Huh? Not us.

Posted by: Erin at February 5, 2008 12:11 AM


Doug,
I have heard the unwantedness of a baby as being a reason to have an abortion. It is thrown out on this blog quite a bit. Just sayin that all babies are wanted. You are proof of a Creator. :)
We don't have to banter my belief in God or your lack thereof ok?
I disagree with wanted v unwanted when talking about babies.

Posted by: Carla at February 5, 2008 6:06 AM


Carla, 9:47...Me too!!!

Posted by: Bethany at February 5, 2008 6:58 AM


"I disagree with wanted v unwanted when talking about babies."
Posted by: Carla at February 5, 2008 6:06 AM

It is terrible when people who want to have babies are denied that ability!
http://cbs5.com/national/RU.486.smoothie.2.599521.html

Posted by: SamanthaT at February 5, 2008 8:11 AM


Doug -

You have been around long enough to have read the multiple times I have posted the proof that out of all the kids in foster care the vast majority of them are NOT up for adoption! So just stop with the lying in an attempt to gain sympathy. The kids in foster care are a victim of the court system which believes that the best place for these children are back with their parents and their parent's have only temporarily lost custody of their kids.


also,

wanted VS unwanted:

and the PC'er want to know why we think abortion is similiar to slavery?

One reason - because ONE human being believes they own another human being and have all life and death rights of that human being.

And all the PC'ers want to know why we believe abortion is like Eugenics?

Only one person gets to determine if a human being is worthy enough to live.
Only one person gets to choose the value of life.
Only one person gets to say if a handicap is worthy to be in society.
Only one person gets to control life and death of another.

It's the new eugenics - "selfish eugenics". The baby isn't worthy enough to be in our society because someone thinks anothers life would be better without that person. It is considered by the PC'er "the betterment of society" to allow a woman to choose death. Eugenics is considered "the betterment of society" by eliminated the unworthy. It's the same thing.

Instead of wanted VS unwanted - it is actually Worthy VS unworthy.


It doesn�t matter if that child is wanted by another, what matters is what one person values as worthy to live.


Posted by: valerie at February 5, 2008 8:19 AM


Excellent post, Valerie!!

Posted by: Carla at February 5, 2008 8:40 AM


Erm...*points up* That's not me. Erin 2?

Posted by: Erin at February 5, 2008 2:50 PM


Valerie,

Good point about foster care. How many of these children may well have started life as the result of planned and wanted pregnancies, only to have circumstances change dramatically, through no fault of their own.
How many times have we heard of children removed from an adoptive home and returned to an unfit parent who suddenly wants them back? There was a case of an infant removed from her foster and soon to be adoptive parents and given back to her homeless mother, a drug addict who had abandoned her at the hospital. She named the baby after the lawyer who helped her get her back. I hope that lawyer and judge sleep real well at nite.

Posted by: Mary at February 5, 2008 3:34 PM


Mary -

It's funny. I've posted those ideas before and find it remarkable how it is always ignored.

hmmmmmmm.........

It is wrong that all those kids can't get good homes become people have the idea that the parents should raise the child. So many children have been abused all their lives because the state just wouldn't terminate the rights of the parents in the best interest of the child. Of course, the legal system rarely has the best interest of the children in todays world.

Posted by: valerie at February 5, 2008 4:42 PM


@Sandy

Nice info. What is your source? Please?

And whos talking about aborting wanted fetuses? Huh? Not us.

Posted by: Erin at February 5, 2008 12:11 AM

Erin2??

Whaaaattttt??? I don't get your statement.

Posted by: Sandy at February 5, 2008 6:40 PM


Mary: ordinary people are spending thousands on overseas adoptions, when they could just as easily call the nearest social service agency and find American children of every race, ethnicity, age, and gender in desperate need of homes./i>

Mary, if the kids are older than infants, lots of people don't want them - and while it's too bad for the kids, I can understand that.

Posted by: Doug at February 5, 2008 10:07 PM


I have heard the unwantedness of a baby as being a reason to have an abortion. It is thrown out on this blog quite a bit. Just sayin that all babies are wanted. You are proof of a Creator. :) We don't have to banter my belief in God or your lack thereof ok?

Carla, sure, you believe some things I don't. However, no, not all babies are wanted. That is why there are elective abortions. If there weren't, there wouldn't be.
.......

I disagree with wanted v unwanted when talking about babies.

The bottom line is still that a pregnancy will be wanted, or unwanted, on balance.

Posted by: Doug at February 5, 2008 10:13 PM


Valerie: You have been around long enough to have read the multiple times I have posted the proof that out of all the kids in foster care the vast majority of them are NOT up for adoption! So just stop with the lying in an attempt to gain sympathy. The kids in foster care are a victim of the court system which believes that the best place for these children are back with their parents and their parent's have only temporarily lost custody of their kids.

Valerie, I didn't know that, if it's true, so of course it wasn't "lying." @@

Additionally, even if among those 150,000+ the majority isn't up for adoption, that still leaves tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of kids who are just as I said.
......


also, wanted VS unwanted: and the PC'er want to know why we think abortion is similiar to slavery? One reason - because ONE human being believes they own another human being and have all life and death rights of that human being.

You're neglecting that the slaves were not inside the body of a person. You're also neglecting that the unborn are not thinking, feeling individuals in the vast majority of abortions, while the slaves certainly were.

If we want good anologies, the slaveowners wanted the will of the slaves subverted to their own, just as pro-lifers want the will of pregnant women subverted to their own.
......

And all the PC'ers want to know why we believe abortion is like Eugenics?

Well, eugenics is believing in and wanting to improve the quality of the human race while the reason most pregnancies are ended is that they just plain aren't wanted.
......

Only one person gets to determine if a human being is worthy enough to live. Only one person gets to choose the value of life. Only one person gets to say if a handicap is worthy to be in society. Only one person gets to control life and death of another.

Well yeah, one person who is the one who is pregnant.
......

It's the new eugenics - "selfish eugenics". The baby isn't worthy enough to be in our society because someone thinks anothers life would be better without that person. It is considered by the PC'er "the betterment of society" to allow a woman to choose death. Eugenics is considered "the betterment of society" by eliminated the unworthy. It's the same thing.

Most times it's not a case of saying "not worthy enough to be in our society." Most times the woman or couple wouldn't have any strong opinion about that, or any necessary way to even know the extent of the truth of it. Most times it's just whether they want to have kids right then or not. In our society we don't need to force anybody's opinion on the pregnant woman. Almost all of us think that freedom, per se, is a good thing, and if we're talking about taking away somebody's freedom, as with the legal rights women have, then I think that all or almost all of us should be in agreement on it, at the very least.
......

Instead of wanted VS unwanted - it is actually Worthy VS unworthy. It doesn�t matter if that child is wanted by another, what matters is what one person values as worthy to live.

At the most, it's the same thing - the woman's valuation is her judgment of worthy or not, it's the degree to which the pregnancy is wanted. More specifically, it's really not that the woman is saying that a fetus, for example, when the woman is 18, is any less "worthy of being in society" than another later fetus when she's 25. She may well think the same thing as far as the "quality," etc., of the fetuses, but at 18 she may not want to have kids, while at 25 it may be a different story.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 5, 2008 10:27 PM


It is wrong that all those kids can't get good homes become people have the idea that the parents should raise the child. So many children have been abused all their lives because the state just wouldn't terminate the rights of the parents in the best interest of the child.

Valerie, that I pretty much agree with, but of course it's considered a pretty big deal to take kids away from parents.

Posted by: Doug at February 5, 2008 10:32 PM


Are abortion proponents going to try to stop proper resources going to hospitals so premature babies born under 25 weeks won't survive?

No. Why would they? I'm pro-choice, and if a woman or couple wants to have a child then I hope the pregnancy goes okay, whether it ends at 40 weeks or 25, etc.

Doug

Posted by: Doug at February 7, 2008 7:21 AM


Hi Enigma!

"I took one my first year of college which, at the time, made me swear off of philosophy forever. That turned out well. Epistomology is the stuff of nightmares."

I haven't studied any epistemology. On my own, I've read some metaphysics and ethics, but not epistemology. Nightmares though, ehh? Yikes!

"I would answer that the premise that one cannot always control his/her thoughts does not logically extend to the arguement that one cannot control his/her actions.

The thought is not the deed; simply because one has a thought that is beyond one's control does not compell the individual in question to follow through with it. Thoughts and feelings may be beyond our control to some extent, but deeds, which are fundamentally different from either, are not."

Right, I agree. I don't think it follows either.

"Still, to me it seems illogical and inherently unfair. The idea is a beautiful one and I would love to share it, but I cannot because it fundamentally contradicts everything that I know about guilt, retribution, punishment, attonement, and equity."

So one thing I mentioned in my last post that I really should have emphasized more is God's Fatherhood. So think of it like this; if my daughter gets pregnant at 13, has an abortion, becomes addicted to crack at 14, drops out of school, gets involved in prostitution, starts doing porn, curses and hates my wife and I until she's 30 years old, and then one day shows up at our door saying that she repents of her ways and needs a place to stay, rest assured I will let her in and do everything I can to get her back on her feet and forgive all her previous hatred of my wife and me. Now hopefully we'll have another child and perhaps the other child will still be living with us when his older sister comes back. She won't be treated any different than he would be. As a father, I love my children unconditionally, and am always willing to forgive and accept my children back, no matter what they do or how many times they do it.

Now if God is real and if he really is a Father, there is no way I love my kids more than he loves his kids, which is all of us. So I don't think it's really a matter of fair vs. unfair. As a child, one has special privlages and a special status to the parent. Since we believe that we are all children of God, we believe that this special status applies to everyone, so that any child of God's can always come home at any time. Does that make sense? I really think it should in light of understanding God as Father, and thinking about how an ideal, loving father here on earth would treat their children.

"Interesting; I wasn't aware of that. The area that I am from is fairly heavily Protestant with a heady dash of Evangelicals."

Unfortunately, I think there's a lot of bad ideas out there. If you read a book like "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris, as a Catholic, it takes about 2 seconds to answer every single objection he poses. I am not sure how a Protestant would answer many of his objections. And I think it's a problem that everyone sees Christianity in terms of this "conservative Christianity" that Harris bashes, because a lot of objections that people have are very easy to address. But I digress.

"To me, it's quite simple but, then again, I don't have religious beliefs to contend with. Theory is a beautiful thing and serves to help us understand the world, but I believe that clinging to it too tightly, and in spite of the evidence, prevents one from living in the real world.

It does and it doesn't. One can do something even if one is unwilling and, from her further account, she was. I suppose that all the SS officer wanted was for her to tell him that it was okay; he didn't seem to care whether or not it was what she actually wanted. I believe the next sentance read something like this: "Tears spilled down my cheeks; I knew I was lost."

Really? She should have stood aside and watching 10-12 people, who she had protected and become friends with, be turned out to face horrible deaths?"

Okay. I've been thinking about this situation a lot last night, and believe it or not, I'm actually falling the other way now. So here's my reasoning. You mentioned that sex outside of marriage in the Catholic Church is a "mortal sin." Actually, that's a little imprecise (not your fault, lots of Catholics don't get it right either). It is actually what's called "grave matter." It fulfills 1 of 3 conditions in order for a sin to be mortal. These three conditions are 1) the action must be grave matter 2) full knowledge of the gravity of the action 3) full consent of the will. So the reason I say it's imprecise is because in an absolute sense, we can never say that any one else commits a mortal sin (unless they have told us) because we can't judge a person's subjective knowledge i.e. condition 2) may not be there.

Now that being said, it seems to me that condition 2) is not being met. The SS, even though he tries to mask it by telling her that it must be a willful decision, is in fact giving her ultimatum. Sleep with me or I kill these people. It's analogous to if someone puts a gun to your head and says "sleep with me." I would say that we should not be required to die rather than sleep with the aggressor. One could choose that, but I don't think it's morally necessary.

In this situation, the SS has put a gun to 10 other peoples heads and said "sleep with me or else." There is not a full consent of the will there. So I'm beginning to think that it wouldn't be immoral.

Crap, there's more I want to say about this, but the baby is crying so I gotta go. Talk with you later.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 18, 2008 8:27 AM


Enigma,

The other thing I wanted to address was why I don't think the principle "never do evil so that good may come of it" applies, but we'll talk about that later.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at February 18, 2008 8:52 AM