A Polish hospital is being accused of allowing a viable, late-term baby to die without care after the child survived a failed abortion, according to The Global Dispatch.
Witnesses said doctors and medical staff at the Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw, Poland left the newborn to die on March 7, possibly because the baby had Down syndrome, the report states.
Horrifically, witnesses said the newborn cried and screamed for an hour before it died, according to Republika Television. Reports do not indicate if the child was male or female.
So far, the hospital has not denied the allegations. The report continues:
Hospital spokesperson Dorota Jasłowska-Niemyska explained that a patient at the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy came to the hospital, and her medical tests suggested that the baby had Down syndrome. The hospital claims that everything that happened thereafter was according to the law and medical procedures. The dignity of the patient and the dignity of the fetus were respected, she continued.
When asked by a reporter of Salve TV about the dignity of a child that had been born alive, Jasłowska-Niemyska said: “Those are details which I can’t talk about. It is confidential, and I am not allowed to comment on the details of this procedure.”
Pro-life supporters are calling on the Warsaw prosecutor to charge the hospital with criminal conduct. One loud voice is a Catholic priest, Ryszard Halwa, from the anti-abortion group SOS Foundation to Save Unborn Children (Fundacja SOS Obrony Poczętego Życia).
According to Bartosz Lewandowski, a lawyer from Ordo Iuris Institute, medical personnel can face criminal charges for not helping a child whose life is in danger. Medical personnel could even be charged with homicide.
During an interview with Salve TV, he mentioned that the Polish Doctors Code of Ethics clearly states that an unborn child is a patient, and that doctors are obligated to help. It does not matter that the mother does not want the child to live. According to the Polish Criminal Code, the newborn baby was a “child” (article 148 section 1 Criminal Code) protected by legal norms, Lewandowski concluded.
Abortion is illegal in most cases in Poland, a strong Catholic country. Exceptions are allowed in cases of rape, danger to the mother’s life or health and an unborn child with a severe and irreversible handicap or an incurable and life threatening disease. Down syndrome cases fall under the last category and are legal up until viability, generally considered to be 24 weeks.
The Warsaw baby was just under 24 weeks along in the pregnancy, according to the report. Most premature babies at that stage will survive with proper medical care. Studies suggest viability should be pushed back earlier because more babies are surviving before the 24-week mark, thanks to modern medical advancements.
The horrific case points to a larger problem of discrimination against people with Down syndrome in the Polish health care system. In 2014, pro-life Polish journalist Natalia Dueholm wrote at LifeNews about another baby with Down syndrome who was born alive after a botched abortion. The baby girl was even younger than the Warsaw baby, at just 22 weeks gestation; but she was more fortunate. In her case, the Wrocław hospital called in neonatologists to help her survive.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
Around the same time as the Wroclaw case, a mother of a child with Down syndrome urged the Polish Parliament to outlaw eugenic abortions, Dueholm reported. Kaja Godek, a pro-life advocate, received a standing ovation for her speech about her child’s value; however, the country also is facing pressure from abortion activists to legalize even more abortions.
In the U.S., some states also are trying to protect unborn babies from eugenic abortions based on disabilities. Earlier this month, Indiana legislators sent a bill to their governor’s desk that would ban abortions based on an unborn baby’s disability or sex. In 2013, North Dakota became the first state to pass a similar bill to protect unborn babies from abortions because of disabilities. A handful of states also ban abortions based solely on the baby’s sex.