I read a Time Magazine article about a “miracle baby” born prematurely at 21-weeks gestation. The baby left the hospital and went home last month.
” Doctors in the U.S. often advise that premature babies born before 23 weeks be given only “comfort care” — swaddled, they’re handed to their parents to hold, free of medical interventions. If parents insist on treatment and the baby weighs more than 500 grams (about 17.5 ounces), “most of us give it a try,” says Gerri Baer, a neonatologist in Rockville, Md., who also happens to be my oldest friend. ”
It’s so sad and scary. If it was my baby, I’m almost certain I’d hope for the miracle and want medical care for it. I can’t imagine going through such an event. For myself if anything should happen to me, I don’t want life support. I have lived. No sense letting my body live when my soul is gone. Donate any salvageable organs and bury me. But a baby–there is so much hope for children and there is so much to live for. I know there are often complications and illnesses in children who survive premature birth. In some cases, the most severe, perhaps the child would be a “vegetable”. It would be a risk in deciding how to care for a premie baby at birth. I have cared for people in a vegetative state, severe brain trauma, coma or something from a non-birth related injury and there is always at least some hope, but then reality too. It’s tough to see family members who are still hoping for a miracle recovery long after brain trauma leaves someone in a vegetative state. I am sure it would be tough for me to be that family member also. Worse with my medical knowledge and work history because I’d have more a sense of the reality fighting the fantasy and hope for a miracle. My prayers go to everyone going through such issues.
You can read the entire article here: http://healthland.time.com/2011/05/27/baby-born-at-21-weeks-survives-how-young-is-too-young-to-save/