UK doctors perform surgery, eye remedy for pregnancy risk condition
By Obar Mark Asuelaa
| February 14th 2019
United Kingdom doctors successfully operated on an unborn baby whom they were forced to remove from the womb of the mother before initiating the procedure.
Medical technology applications at University College London Hospital helped the doctors to detect development of a spinal deformity at just 24 weeks of gestation.
Only four UK women have received this groundbreaking surgery, and Bethan Simpson is one of the lucky women.
Most of babies born with this condition, spina bifida, are aborted before they get a chance at life outside the womb.
On her Facebook post, Simpson says that she decided to try to surgery after a 20-week checkup that revealed a condition that negatively affects the child's ability to walk.
"Our lives were such a rollercoaster for the next few weeks. We were offered continuing pregnancy, ending pregnancy or a new option called fetal surgery – fixing her before she is born. We had to do it," Simpson wrote in a Facebook post.
After performing hours of surgical procedure, doctors managed to take Simpson's daughter back in her mother's womb and she will be born later this year.
It's a future most babies with this condition will never see as spina bifida often times leads to early death, while some parents prefer to entirely reject and condemn such pregnancies to abortion.
"Sadly, 80 percent of babies in England are terminated when their parents get told their baby has this condition. It's not a death sentence. She has the same potential as every one of us," Simpson said. "Yes, there are risks of things going wrong, but please think more about spina bifida. It's not what it used to be... I feel our baby kick me day in and day out – that's never changed. She's extra special, she's part of history and our daughter has shown just how much she deserves this life."
This medical breakthrough comes at a time when there is an intense debate on abortion that has provided one of the most noxious, disturbing, and unending of all moral and legal struggles.
The most difficult kind of ethical issues in the debate include but not limited to the moral status of the fetus and the meaning of human "life" and "personhood."
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