Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Controversial Report: Fetuses Do Not Feel Pain Until Late Pregnancy

From Fox News:
A review of medical evidence has found that fetuses likely don't feel pain until the final months of pregnancy, a powerful challenge to abortion opponents who hope that discussions about fetal pain will make women think twice about ending pregnancies.

Critics angrily disputed the findings and claimed the report is biased.

"They have
literally [ED: really?] stuck their hands into a hornet's nest," said Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a fetal pain (search) researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who believes fetuses as young as 20 weeks old feel pain. "This is going to inflame a lot of scientists who are very, very concerned and are far more knowledgeable in this area than the authors appear to be. This is not the last word -- definitely not."

The review by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco comes as advocates are pushing for fetal pain laws (search) aimed at curtailing abortion. Proposed federal legislation would require doctors to provide fetal pain information to women seeking abortions when fetuses are at least 20 weeks old, and to offer women fetal anesthesia (search) at that stage of the pregnancy. A handful of states have enacted similar measures.

But the report, appearing in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, says that offering fetal pain relief during abortions in the fifth or sixth months of pregnancy is misguided and might result in unacceptable health risks to women.

[Full story]
My Comments:
I doubt the findings of this report, but also think the whole inquiry into fetal pain is irrelevant. Since when is it okay to kill people so long as they don't feel pain while you're snuffing out their lives?


At 8/24/2005 7:45 PM, Blogger LifeEthics.org said...

Great point!

At 8/24/2005 8:49 PM, Anonymous zachbrissett said...

Jay, I thought the same thing when I was watching people on both sides of the issue getting so lathered up about this new study.

The same people spent way too much time debating this same point in the Schiavo case, as well.

I also appreciated your point about "literally". Funny how folks say "literally" when they're obviously speaking in a manner that is anything but. Such errors literally drive me up the wall! :)


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