Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

For Debate: Do fetuses feel pain?

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 28 September 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:795

The past decade has seen a profound change in anaesthetists' attitudes and practice regarding the question of whether neonates and infants feel pain (p 787). Until recently, however, whether fetuses felt pain has attracted little attention. In the context of late abortions and fetal surgery it becomes a question worth answering. We therefore asked a range of specialists for their opinions.