NHS officials have emphatically denied reports that mums-to-be carrying babies with fatal birth defects would be “pressured” into bringing the baby to term so doctors could use their organs for transplants.
The row started after a transplant surgeon was quoted in the The Mail on Sunday saying that options were being considered to increase organ donations, and one of those options could be for ‘obtaining more organs from [fatally ill] newborns’.
The Mail on Sunday reported that women whose baby has a fatal defect in the early stages of pregnancy will be “supported” not to terminate the pregnancy but to carry the baby until it is born, so its organs can be collected – raising the number of newborn organ donors to around 100 a year.
But the NHS says this isn’t true – and took to Facebook to spread the message.
“We have no way of knowing about anyone who is pregnant with a baby that is unlikely to survive,” a spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said. “[And] under no circumstances would NHS Blood or Transplant staff or anybody else within the NHS pressure women to continue with a pregnancy solely for the possibility of organ donation.
“Organ donation in the circumstances of pregnancies where a non-survivable condition is diagnosed would only be considered if the potential parents have raised it as something they want to explore.”
There is an article in the Mail on Sunday 6th March implying that the NHS will pressure women carrying babies diagnosed…
Posted by NHS Organ Donation on Saturday, 5 March 2016
Until recently, organ donations were banned from children under the age of 2 months but the rules were changed after it was proved that the organs of newborns can save lives.