Between countries, hospitals, and doctors treatment or management of PROM are handled differently. Bedrest? Antibiotics? Induction? We are each given different information about our chances for a successful outcome.They then launch into information for women who have just gotten the PROM diagnosis:
Our first message to you and your family is the most important: Don't give up hope. Your health care team may know little about PROM and may tell you that your baby's chance for survival is so grim that it isn’t worth trying to save him or her. Although we don't know the specifics of your situation, there are many stories on this website of babies who have survived despite PROM. Know that miracles happen.And now, most salient to our story, these women who have been there and done that list a plethora of options available to women who have suffered PROM. The choices are not as the story implied, kill the baby in-utero or just watch it die. This might be a good time to point out exactly what it involves to deliberately kill a 23-week baby in the womb. The standard approach is to inject drugs directly into the baby's heart to kill her. This method is unacceptable for euthanizing animals. So what the Nebraska law was preventing was one option -- killing the baby in a way that the Humane Society of the United States forbids its shelters from using to kill animals. So let's look again at options for management of PROM that were available, but which either this woman or her doctor rejected in favor of wanting to harpoon the baby in the heart with a gigantic syringe full of poison: Surviving the Unthinkable: "Many PROM list members were initially told that they "should" terminate their pregnancies simply because their health care practitioners believed that their babies' chances of survival were low, and not because the women themselves were showing signs of infection or were in active labor. After examining their options, many of these women ultimately rejected the suggestion that they terminate, and some went on to have healthy babies." And even if this woman had health problems that made continuing the pregnancy too risky, perinatal hospice was another option which could have been made available. So, long story short: This woman's doctor was not forbidden by law to offer this woman help. There were a plethora of options available, many of which could have given her baby a chance of survival. I can't say why the doctor didn't offer these options -- or if he did but the mother chose to ignore them because she wanted the harpoon-the-baby-in-the-heart-with-poison option and was pissed off that she didn't get it. But the point remains that the only option forbidden in this case is one that would have been forbidden by the Humane Society of the United States in dealing with a sick dog. Do we, as a society, have an obligation to help parents to do something to their baby that it's cruel to do to a puppy? Or is it best to remind doctors and women that there are plenty of options available that are humane, compassionate, and decent? Let's go back to the misleading headline. Who is it that forced this mother to watch her baby to die? Not the prolifers, who left a wide variety of options open, including having a perinatal hospice volunteer cuddle the baby during her fifteen minutes of postnatal life, during which she also could have been sedated to make sure she was comfortable. It was somebody with a pro-abortion political agenda that "forced" this woman to watch her baby die. Somebody who rejected the wide variety of compassionate options available to this woman and others like her.