A row has erupted among doctors at an English hospital over plans to abort a twin boy in the final weeks of pregnancy.
A consultant at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle first proposed aborting the twin a month ago after the child was diagnosed with a heart defect which he considered to be inoperable. However, the child's 19-year-old mother is now into her 35th week of pregnancy and other consultants and specialists at the hospital believe that the abortion would have disastrous psychological effects.
Medical opinion is also divided as to the child's prognosis, with several experts believing that he has a good chance of leading a normal life. One doctor has now threatened the hospital's medical director with legal action if the late-term abortion is allowed to proceed, although the latest reports suggest that the mother has now refused the abortion.
Late-term abortions up to birth are allowed in Britain when doctors believe that the victim would be born "seriously handicapped". In this case the abortion would be performed by injecting potassium chloride directly into the child's heart, and his dead body would then be delivered at the same time as his living twin sister.
[Sunday Times, 10 November; The Journal, 11 November]
Post by PurplySparkleyJoey on Nov 19, 2002 8:50:52 GMT -5
Thanks for that Gem .. my mum does this sort of work so i kinda have mixed feelings about it all.
I personally know lots of people who would be considered 'severly hadicapted' and live perfectly normal & happy lives. Of cours if the child would suffer as a result of being born that is a diffrent matter.
I think in this case its up to the mother ... some times its better if the baby is given a chance to live .. its better for the mother. She would have a chance to nurse the child and no matter what the out come (weather the baby lives or not) she knows she gave it a go rather than getting rid of the child not knowing if it could have lived or not.
I know for a fact that full turm abortions are extremly heriffic to all conserned and have sever phycological affects of people. They really should be a last resort.