health Care opportunities to save extremely premature babies has become increasingly better. The limit of viability is considered in the day, and go at day 22+0 (twenty-two completed weeks of gestation and zero days). It does not mean that all so premature babies survive – most do not – but that life-sustaining care should be considered from this date.
Developments in the care of premature babies leads to two of the abortlagens objectives are at risk of increasingly apparent conflict with each other: to give women the opportunity to a late abortion where there are exceptional reasons for it and to avoid that viable fetuses are aborted. The development also raises the question of how care should respond if the fetus shows signs of life after late abortion.
the State's medical ethics council (Smer) analyzing the ethical issues linked to late-term abortions.
That a fetus shows signs of life after late abortion is a rare but occurring event. Such a fetus has, for several reasons, poorer prospects for survival than an equally old extremely premature baby. With the current practice, where a late abortion is granted up to the day 21+6 (twenty-one weeks and six days), the probability that a viable fetus is born up therefore assessed as very low. I can still not completely exclude the possibility that in a few cases, could be done. Since several basic goals and values may come into conflict with each other in such a situation needed under the Direction of a position of principle to the question.
Let the national Board of health investigate the conditions of the offer feticid in connection with late-term abortions. Feticid involves injecting a medicine to the fetus before aborten is initiated that causes the heart to stop.
When the Smer analyzes the medical-ethical issues is the dignity of an important starting point. Human dignity is the intrinsic value that every human being has just because she is a human being. From the dignity of the individual with certain basic rights that all have the right to be respected. These rights include the right to life. Within health care means the right to life to life-sustaining care should be given if it is in the individual's interest.
It is according to the Smer difficult to see that the point in time when you are covered by the dignity of the individual can be any date that is later than the birth. A fetus that shows signs of life after late abortion, and is thus from an ethical point of view of a child and must be assimilated with the other children when it comes to fundamental rights. It means that the right to life also includes such a child. Would it occur to a framfött fetus after an abortion shows signs of being able to be viable, it has the right to a medical assessment of the about life-sustaining care should be provided. The decision to give or to refrain from such care must be based on the child's interest. To weigh the other interests in this situation would be contrary to the människovärdesprincipen.
The interests that need to be back in this situation is, according to Smers assessment strong. The woman's autonomy would be limited and it could have significant negative consequences for her. The rising the child would carry the risk of severe disability as a direct result of an action that society has granted and done. The objective must be according to Smer, therefore, be that no viable fetus is to be born until after late abortion.
Smer, however, believes that there are cases where abortion is urgent, but where aborten of various reasons can not be carried out before the twenty-second week. It happens, for example, that women in a vulnerable social situation, deny the pregnancy and not take the contact with the health care until a late stage. The case of certain serious birth defects, it can also be difficult to obtain a sure diagnosis earlier in the pregnancy.
Therefore, the mean Direction that, from an ethical perspective would be unfortunate to reduce the limit for late abortion. Instead, the mean Direction measures should be taken which might lead to fewer abortions near day 22+0.
, among other things, that professionals and caregivers examine the possibility to apply the ultrasound that all pregnant women are offered at week 18-20, which would lead to earlier detection of many birth defects. The council also proposes that measures be taken to ensure that a woman who received permission for a late abortion can get aborten performed expeditiously and safely.
There remains, however, that new advances in the care of premature babies in the long term threatens to reduce the space for late abortion. It is spoken more and more about the ability to construct ”artificial wombs” that radically could change the conditions to take care of extremely premature babies. With the current legislation, would such a development be able to impose significant restrictions on the aborträtten.
Abortion near the limit of viability means, inevitably difficult ethical trade-offs.
Already today the possibilities for a late abortion is more restricted in our country than in many other places. Many countries have a fixed veckogräns for late abortion that are not linked to the medical viability. Several countries have no limit at all at the time of severe teratogenicity. Smer believes that it will continue to be late-term abortions, appearing to be concerned but who for various reasons will not be able to be performed earlier than in the twenty-second week of pregnancy. A future development where the space for late abortion gradually decreases were for that reason unhappy.
the Border for a late abortion would thus not be based on the medical-technical progress in the care of premature babies, but on a balance between fetal protection linked to its level of development and the woman's interest to be able to get a late abortion when there are serious reasons for it.
Feticid involves injecting a medicine to the fetus before aborten is initiated that causes the heart to stop. The method is used in several countries that have a fixed limit on late abortion in order to ensure that a live fetus is not born and that the purpose of the aborten can be achieved.
Abortions near the limit of viability means, inevitably difficult ethical trade-offs. We believe that with the proposed measures, women will continue to be given a reasonable space for a late abortion when there are exceptional reasons, at the same time as other interests may be an acceptable protection.