Fetuses cannot feel pain before 26 weeks

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 01 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1111
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. BMJ

    The minimum stage of structural development that is necessary to confer awareness on the developing fetus occurs some time after 26 weeks, according to a report by a working party from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

    Because of difficulties in estimating gestation the report recommends that doctors should consider giving analgesia or anaesthesia to the fetus when carrying out diagnostic procedures after 24 weeks' …

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