Italy introduces “baby boxes” to save lives of abandoned newbornsBMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7537.322-b (Published 09 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:322
- Clare Chapman
Special boxes that allow mothers to abandon their newborn babies with no questions asked have now spread from Germany and Hungary to Italy.
Germany and Hungary introduced such boxes in separate but similar initiatives about five years ago to help prevent dozens of deaths of newborn babies abandoned on the streets.
The boxes are the high tech, modern equivalent of the old medieval foundling wheels operated by orphanages in Padua from the 1400s until 1888. The wheels were a circular wooden board half inside and half outside the orphanages run by nuns. Mothers placed their unwanted newborns …