Culture of LifeThu Dec 20, 2012 - 1:26 pm EST
UK preemie escapes 'death pathway' by a pair of scissors
BRIGHTON, UK, December 20, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – A baby girl born prematurely at a UK hospital barely escaped death after doctors discovered that she weighed just enough to be considered “viable” according to their standards of infant care.
What doctors did not realize was that it was a pair of scissors left accidentally on the scale that bumped up the baby’s weight to their acceptable standard.
Maddalena Douse was born at 23 weeks. UK ethical guidelines suggest that “extremely preterm infants” weighing less than 400 grams be left to die while receiving “compassionate care only.”
A media investigation last month revealed that the UK’s Liverpool Care Pathway — what has been called a “death pathway” — is being used by doctors to end the lives of sickly babies. One doctor admitted to starving and dehydrating 10 babies to death in a neonatal unit in a London hospital.
Doctors at the Royal Sussex Hospital thought that little Maddalena—along with her twin sister Isabella who unfortunately passed away—was too small to survive.
Doctors put Maddalena on the scale and were surprised to discover that she weighed 453 grams, well above the acceptable standard. They decided to fight for her life.
It was only after Maddalena was receiving treatment in the Neonatial Intensive Care Unit that doctors discovered their mistake of leaving a pair of scissors on the scale that had artificially bumped up the little girl’s weight.
Maddalena was later found to weigh only 382g.
This happened six months ago. The little girl has since been discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health.
“We never thought we’d ever bring Maddalena home,” said Maddalena’s mother Kate, 31, to The Sun, who calls her little girl a “miracle.”
“She now weighs five-and-a-half pounds and is getting stronger by the day,” she said. “She’s our little miracle and we’re so glad to have her home in time for Christmas.”
Pro-lifers around the world love Maddalena’s story, since it shows what modern medicine is capable of achieving when it smiles upon life.
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“But for that pair of scissors the baby would have been left to die,” wrote Donald McClarey at The American Catholic.
“Each baby is a miracle in miniature, and should not be dependent upon a pair of scissors in order for us to see the child as the glorious manifestation of God’s love for us,” he wrote.