Poland: Doctors left baby die after an hour of crying following botched abortion of baby with Down Syndrome
Doctors and medical staff at Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw, Poland, left a child to die after a botched abortion, according to local media reports detailing the horrific scene.
The baby was born on March 7, 2016 at 24 weeks, after an abortion failed. The child cried and screaming for an hour before dying, according to witnesses, as reported on Republika Television.
Medical personnel did not try to help the child in any way.
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.”
Abortion is illegal in Poland with the following exceptions:
- The woman’s life or health is endangered, there are no legal limits as to the time when it can be performed
- The pregnancy is a result of a criminal act, abortion is permitted until the 12th week
- The baby has a severe and irreversible handicap or an incurable and life-threatening disease. In such situations, the procedure is legal until the baby is viable. However, viability is not precisely defined (Emphasis added due to relation to this story, The Dispatch)
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.
In 2014, a Liverpool baby, Connie, made headlines when she was born at 24 weeks, weighing just under two pounds. The news and photos of a healthy Connie can be read/seen here.