Views And Reviews

Survival at all costs?

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6950.346a (Published 30 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:346
  1. H Marcovitch

    Back in prehistory, when I was a senior house officer in neonatology the house rule was that babies born weighing less than 1 kg (so who were usually of a gestation less than 28 weeks) were left largely to their own devices. About one in 10 surprised us by surviving, whereupon he or she was offered what then passed for intensive care as a reward for such fortitude. Over the decades I have watched as the boundaries of viability were pushed further into fetal life. Sooner or later the neonatologists, crying “Back, back!” were bound to pass the abortionists shouting, “On, on!”

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