Here We Go Again! Do Fetuses Feel Pain? Maybe Not It Seems

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by GotZoom, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    CHICAGO

    A review of medical evidence has found that fetuses likely don't feel pain until the final months of pregnancy, a powerful challenge to abortion opponents who hope that discussions about fetal pain will make women think twice about ending pregnancies.

    Critics angrily disputed the findings and claimed the report is biased.

    "They have literally stuck their hands into a hornet's nest," said Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, a fetal pain researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, who believes fetuses as young as 20 weeks old feel pain. "This is going to inflame a lot of scientists who are very, very concerned and are far more knowledgeable in this area than the authors appear to be. This is not the last word _ definitely not."

    The review by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco comes as advocates are pushing for fetal pain laws aimed at curtailing abortion. Proposed federal legislation would require doctors to provide fetal pain information to women seeking abortions when fetuses are at least 20 weeks old, and to offer women fetal anesthesia at that stage of the pregnancy. A handful of states have enacted similar measures.

    But the report, appearing in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, says that offering fetal pain relief during abortions in the fifth or sixth months of pregnancy is misguided and might result in unacceptable health risks to women.

    Dr. Nancy Chescheir, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University and a board director at the Society of Maternal- Fetal Medicine, said the article "will help to develop some consensus" on when fetuses feel pain. "To date, there hasn't been any."

    The researchers reviewed dozens of studies and medical reports and said the data indicate that fetuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks old.

    While brain structures involved in feeling pain begin forming much earlier, research indicates they likely do not function until the pregnancy's final stages, said the report's senior author, UCSF obstetric anesthesiologist Dr. Mark Rosen.

    Based on the evidence, discussions of fetal pain for abortions performed before the end of the second trimester should not be mandatory, the researchers said.

    The authors include the administrator of a UCSF abortion clinic, but the researchers dispute the claim that the report is biased.

    Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, JAMA's editor-in-chief, said the decision to publish the review was not politically motivated.

    "Oh, please," DeAngelis said. "If I had a political agenda, I wouldn't pick fetal pain."

    JAMA does not publish "politically motivated science. We publish data- based, evidence-based science," DeAngelis said.

    The measure pending in Congress would affect about 18,000 U.S. abortions a year performed in the fifth month of pregnancy or later, said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee. He said the review is slanted.

    But Rosen said the researchers "tried to review the literature in an unbiased fashion. This was a multidisciplinary effort by experts on anesthesia, neuroanatomy, obstetrics and neonatal development."

    Rosen also said that administering anesthesia or painkillers to the fetus could pose health risks to the mother.

    When doctors operate on fetuses to correct defects before birth, general anesthesia is given to the mother primarily to immobilize the fetus and to make the uterus relax, Rosen said. Anesthesia during fetal surgery increases the mother's risks for breathing problems and bleeding from a relaxed uterus, the researchers said.

    Rosen said those risks are medically acceptable when the goal is to save the fetus but there's not enough evidence to show any benefit from fetus-directed anesthesia during an abortion.

    Administering anesthesia directly to the fetus is also sometimes done but generally to reduce the release of potentially harmful fetal stress hormones, Rosen said. There is little research on its effects, the authors said.

    Anand, the researcher from Arkansas, said the authors excluded or minimized evidence suggesting fetal pain sensation begins in the second trimester and wrongly assume that fetuses' brains sense pain in the same way as adult brains.

    While Anand has testified as an expert witness for the government in court cases opposing some late-term abortions, he said he is not anti- abortion and that his views are based on years of fetal pain research.

    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/08/23/D8C5O7M00.html
     
  2. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    Where's the interview with the fetus?
     
  3. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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    I just find it amazing that people that keep trying to prove that fish are equal to humans because they feel pain attempt to tell us that a fetus with a more advanced nervous system doesn't feel pain and is therefore less than human. Which, of course, is totally against logic and reason as well as the scientific definition of human.
     
  4. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    do a google on who wrote those reports for the JAMA....it will explain why at 7 weeks they suddenly feel pain
     
  5. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    The whole "It's not a human yet" argument is just stupid, and nothing more than trying to blow smoke up our asses.

    Now I guess it's okay of they don't feel it. Guess we can get rid of all those pesky quads now .... after all ... they'll never feel it. :wtf:
     
  6. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    I found out on Rush Limbaugh that the guys running this study had deep connections to NOW and NARAL. That combined with the fact that the data itself isn't actually conclusive leads me to believe that this study is utter bullcrap.
     
  7. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Here's are some specifics on the authors of the study:

    "The article in Wednesday's JAMA prompted especially harsh letters from abortion foes because one of the five authors is a University of California, San Francisco obstetrician who works at an abortion clinic. A second author — a UCSF medical student and lawyer — once did legal work for the NARAL Pro-Choice America advocacy group."

    (I'm especially concerned about the latter researcher).

    And:

    "The article did not mention the two researchers' ties to the abortion clinic and the advocacy group. But the connections were later reported by news organizations."

    The editor-in-chief, Dr. Deangelis, defends the article, saying that she isn't worried because there were four other authors, and "this wasn't a peer-reviewed journal..."


    JAMA may or may not be biased in publishing the article, but the research sure smells like it was done to prop up a pro-abortion agenda.

    Full article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050826...n_hate_mail;_ylt=Ao.vmFmwQiRNpKotT8HUabFZ24cA
     
  8. Gem
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    Gem BANNED

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    When I go to the dentist and have to have a cavity filled then dentist says, "You probably won't need it, but do you want a shot of novacaine just in case?" And I have the choice to:

    a) have the shot which is a bit uncomfortable, but know that whatever happens I won't feel any pain.
    or
    b) refuse the shot because I don't want my face to be all numb, risking the dentist causing me pain.

    The dentist is pretty sure he WON'T cause me pain...but he offers the shot anyway...just in case.

    Since there are doctors who feel that at a certain stage fetus's DO feel pain and others who DON'T...doesn't it simply make good logical sense to give the fetus something so that it doesn't feel pain, JUST IN CASE?

    Obviously, it does. All rational people, even most pro-choice people, would rather err on the side of someone/thing NOT feeling pain rather than someone feeling pain.

    We should watch very carefully with eyes WIDE OPEN the people who want desperately to stop abortion providers from asking women if they want pain medication for the fetus before an abortion. These people are only speaking from their agenda...asking a woman such a question might make her think about the fetus as her child, rather than a bunch of cells, and that might make her change her mind.

    If we are to approach this with honesty, we should err on the side of caution and kindness while we research as carefully as possible. Doctors with definite ties to pro-choice or pro-life organizations are not the best people to do this research, even if these scientists might claim to be unbiased.
     

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