All posts tagged: Fetuses

Pain experienced by unborn babies

In her article, The First Ache, published in the New York Times in 2008, Annie Paul reveals how doctors discovered preemie babies as young as 20 weeks and possibly earlier experience pain in the womb. In 1983, Kanwaljeet Anand was working for a neonatal intensive care unit at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England. Part of his job involved caring for premature infants who had just gone through surgery. He noticed when these babies returned from their operations, they had weak pulses, grey skin, shallow breathing and it took hours to get their vital signs stabilized. It was obvious to Anand, that the premature infants were suffering stress. Unsure why, he received permission to follow a baby through an operation to gain a better understanding on what was happening. When he entered the operating room, Anand discovered that in preparation for surgery all the surgical team did was provide a paralytic to keep the infant still and used no anaesthesia for pain. These babies were operated on without any thought of the pain they would …