Recently, we’ve all read stories from around the world about nuclear meltdowns, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes. Needless to say, they’re scary, heart wrenching and terrible. But for me a story published yesterday is scarier. A story in the UK’s Daily Mail says that doctors turned their backs on a premature baby born at 22 weeks despite the mother begging for help and the baby struggling for life for 46 minutes.
You see, the baby was born 12 days too early to receive care, according to hospital rules. 12 days. So they turned their backs and walked out of the room.
The Daily Mail reports:
Tracy Godwin, 31, went into labour at just 22 weeks but despite being very early her tiny baby Tom was born alive.
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.
The hospital claims they don’t help babies born under 24 weeks because their quality of life would be impaired.
But while the hospital would have you think that they were acting altruistically, this news comes on the heels of an NHS official who stated that babies born at 23 weeks or earlier should be left to die because they’re very expensive to care for and the chances of them growing up without a disability are small. So what they’re really saying is that babies with disabilities are better off dead. An imperfect life is not worth living. They’re saying that baby Tom was born with a price tag and that figure was just too darn much. They figured that 46 minutes was all the life he deserved.
Arbitrary death at the whim of nature is horrible. Calculated death at the hands of stingy actuaries in scrubs is somehow scarier because life shouldn’t be part of a cost/benefit analysis.
The last few days we’ve all read about the natural disasters that have taken the lives of thousands. And somehow it reminds us how every moment of every single life is sacred. Precious and sacred. Somehow that knowledge makes people turning their backs on one crying mother and a tiny baby even more horrendous. The ability to turn you back and walk out of that room horrifies me. Something about that just scares the heck out of me.