Saving gravely ill babies might not be best option
In a Feb. 19 letter to the editor, the writer argues that “science” indicates that “Democrats” should stop defending abortion. In her Atlantic article – cited by David Brooks and the letter writer – Emma Green notes that, “Medical teams spend enormous effort, time and money to deliver babies safely and nurse premature infants back to health.”
Both Brooks and Green fail to acknowledge that bioethicists have questioned the wisdom of such “heroic measures” in the case of extremely preterm infants, who are “born on the verge of viability,” as one MedScape article put it. And for good reason. The incidence of birth defects – some of which will affect the whole course of life – is very high in such infants. It is at least as much cruelty to “save” them in such circumstances as any so-called kindness.