Once, saving a premie was all but impossible. Then we could save 7th month olds. Now that's been pushed back. The babies get smaller and smaller. Who knows how far medicine will go?
I don't think it's a good thing. A lot of these mom's they're 13, 14 and completely unprepared. To keep pushing the premie date earlier and earlier, a lot will probably be really terribly ill and have mental issues and be a cost to society.
That's sound horrific, I know. Should we keep trying to save them all? At four months? When do we draw the line?
It's a complex bioethical question. They're consequences to saving them all. Many would die before.
Here's some statistics. Remember I am pro-life all the way, but you need to understand what you're up against
[link to www.preemiesurvival.org
Premature born before 37 weeks
Moderately premature born between 35 and 37 weeks
Very premature born between 29 and 34 weeks
Extremely premature born between 24 and 28 weeks
Low birthweight baby weighs less than 2,500 g (5.5 lbs)
Very low birthweight baby weighs less than 1,500 g (3.0 lbs)
Extremely low birthweight baby weighs less than 1,000 g (2.2 lbs)
Neonatal deaths = within 28 days of birth
Prenatal deaths = stillbirths and deaths occurring within the 1st week of life
Babies born at 23 weeks have a 17% chance of survival
Babies born at 24 weeks have a 39% chance of survival
Babies born at 25 weeks have a 50% chance of survival
From 32 weeks onwards, most babies are able to survive with the help of medical Technology [EPICure data]
1 in 10 premature babies will develop a permanent disability such as lung disease, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness.
50% of premature babies born before the 26th week of gestation are disabled, a quarter severely so. (Fowler GA. Preemie problems: the sobering statistics. US News World Reports 2000; vol 129: pp56.)
Of children born before 26 weeks' gestation, results in 241 of the surviving children at six years (early school age) indicate a high level of disability as follows:
22% severe disability (defined as cerebral palsy but not walking, low cognitive scores, blindness, profound deafness)
24% moderate disability (defined as cerebral palsy but walking, IQ/cognitive scores in the special needs range, lesser degree of visual or hearing impairment)
34% mild disability (defined as low IQ/cognitive score, squint, requiring glasses)
20% no problems