Survivors of Second-Trimester Abortions Left to Die in Illinois Hospital, Nurse Alleges.Unborn babies born alive after second-trimester abortions at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois Oak Lawn is a village in Cook County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 55,245.
Oak Lawn is a suburb of the city of Chicago, located southwest of the city. , are left to die without medical treatment, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a nurse who has worked there for six years. The Illinois attorney general The Illinois Attorney General is the highest legal officer of the state of Illinois in the United States. Originally an appointed office, it is now an office filled by election through universal suffrage. has asked the state Department of Public Health to investigate the hospital's abortion procedures.
Jill Stanek, a registered nurse in the hospital's labor and delivery unit, told NRL Noun 1. NRL - the United States Navy's defense laboratory that conducts basic and applied research for the Navy in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines
Naval Research Laboratory News that last year she held a 22-week-old baby boy who had Down syndrome Down syndrome, congenital disorder characterized by mild to severe mental retardation, slow physical development, and characteristic physical features. Down syndrome affects about 1 in every 730 live births and occurs in all populations equally. for 45 minutes until he died. The baby had survived an abortion. Stanek said he was given no medical treatment, only wrapped in a blanket. She volunteered to hold him.
"He was a half-pound, a little bigger than my outstretched out·stretch
tr.v. out·stretched, out·stretch·ing, out·stretch·es
To stretch out; extend.
Adjective hand," Stanek said. "When they're that little, they don't move, so the only way to tell he was still alive was to see his heart beating through his skin. It was such a forlorn, helpless feeling to just wait for him to die."
Stanek claimed that 10 to 20 second-trimester abortions are performed each year at the hospital on babies with birth defects birth defects, abnormalities in physical or mental structure or function that are present at birth. They range from minor to seriously deforming or life-threatening. A major defect of some type occurs in approximately 3% of all births. ranging from anencephaly anencephaly /an·en·ceph·a·ly/ (an?en-sef´ah-le) congenital absence of the cranial vault, with the cerebral hemispheres completely missing or reduced to small masses.anencephal´ic
n. to Down syndrome and spina bifida. Mothers are given labor-inducing drugs and the babies are delivered without being killed in utero in utero (in u´ter-o) [L.] within the uterus.
In the uterus.
in utero adv. .
However, at this early age only a few survive the delivery, but these babies can live for several minutes to six or seven hours. Nurses wrap them in warm blankets but they are given no other care, according to Stanek. If a family member does not want to hold the baby until he or she dies, a nurse or service worker can volunteer. However, if staff members are too busy, the babies are placed in the soiled utility room until death, Stanek insisted.
Hospital spokeswoman Sue Reimbold confirmed Stanek's claim that 10-20 abortions from the 16th through 23rd week of pregnancy are performed each year at Christ Hospital, according to the Chicago Sun-Times This article is about the Chicago newspaper. For the Canadian newspaper, see Owen Sound Sun Times.
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago. . Reimbold told NRL News that the abortions are "medically indicated terminations." When asked if babies with Down syndrome are aborted, she said she had no information about specific cases. "It is my understanding that when pregnancy termination has been done, the mother's or fetus's life or health was endangered," she said.
Reimbold would not confirm Stanek's description of the treatment of the abortion survivors. "As far as I know, if they are not held by the mother or a nurse they are placed in the nursery," Reimbold said. "Their pulse is checked and if feeding is required they are fed. They are just not given aggressive artificial life support."
"I have never seen that done," insisted Stanek. "It's just not a course that's followed in the department. The decision is made to abort (1) To exit a function or application without saving any data that has been changed.
(2) To stop a transmission.
(programming) abort - To terminate a program or process abnormally and usually suddenly, with or without diagnostic information. , they abort, and that's it."
The hospital's late-second-trimester abortions and the questionable treatment after live births raise many ethical concerns, according to bioethicist George Annas George J. Annas is the Edward R. Utley Professor of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, Chairman of Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, at the Boston University School of Public Health. . "Once the child is born it doesn't matter what the intent of the physician or the mother was before the birth," he told NRL News. "All infants have the right to be treated as children; you have to do whatever you can to keep them alive."
Annas said that most hospitals don't want to get near the "viability line" that offers the possibility of aborted babies being born alive, especially if the procedure used does not kill the baby in utero. "That's why they usually don't go past 20 weeks," he said.
There is no official policy on abortion at Christ Hospital, which is part of the Advocate Health Care network, except that "elective abortions are not performed at the hospital," Reimbold said. A committee at the hospital was in the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of deciding on an official abortion policy, but since Stanek came forward with her allegations a task force of the Board of Directors of Advocate Health Care is contemplating a systemwide policy, Reimbold said. Advocate is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church Evangelical Lutheran Church can refer to many different Lutheran churches in the world. Among them are the following:
It is this religious affiliation that attracted Stanek to the hospital after she received her nursing degree in 1993. "I came to the hospital because it was named Christ Hospital; it was faith-based," Stanek said. "It didn't occur to me to ask about the abortion policy, because I assumed they just weren't done."
Stanek said that nurses are not forced to participate in the abortions if they have a moral or religious objection to them. "For a while after I found out they were being done, I just didn't participate," she explained. "But then one night the baby was born alive, and I had to decide what to do, leave the hospital or try to make a change."
Stanek first wrote a private letter to hospital executives in April 1999 asking them to stop the abortion practice, quoting the Advocate Health Care Mission Statement that claims its mission is "rooted in our fundamental understanding of human beings as created in the image of God." "I appeal to the leaders of these faiths as well as hospital management who oversee the ethical operations of Christ Hospital to change our current abortion policy," Stanek wrote.
She was then called into a meeting with hospital officials, who told her "maybe I'd be better off at a hospital compatible with my beliefs," Stanek said. She still works at the hospital, but has been placed on a 12-month probation for violating hospital confidentiality.
Stanek decided to alert other religious, pro-life, and political leaders, and then take the issue before the people. Local churches organized prayer vigils at the hospital in August and October.
Pro-life state Sen. Patrick O'Malley
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to Advocate officials about the abortion policy, according to The Reporter. "We as a nation and as individuals are measured throughout the world and in our communities by how we treat those least able to care for themselves," O'Malley told Daily Southtown The Daily Southtown is a newspaper of the Chicago, Illinois metropolitan area that covers the south suburbs of Chicago and the South Side neighborhoods of the city - a wide region known as the Chicago Southland. . "We're not in a position to play God."
Attorney General Jim Ryan decided in September to ask the state Department of Public Health to "initiate an inquiry to determine the nature and circumstances surrounding certain medical procedures described as `pregnancy terminations' at Christ Hospital," according to a letter sent from the attorney general's office to the Illinois chapter of Concerned Women for America Concerned Women for America is a conservative Christian political action group active in the United States. The group was founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye, wife of Christian Coalition co-founder Timothy LaHaye, as a response to activities by the National Organization for Women and .
The health department sent inspectors to Christ hospital in late September, the Chicago Tribune reported. They looked into the quality of care given to the babies who survive the abortions and the sanitary conditions in the delivery ward.
The controversy surrounding Christ Hospital is similar to the uproar in Canada after an Alberta newspaper reported on late-term abortions and their survivors in several hospitals. The most detailed and damaging information came from Calgary's Alberta Foothills Hospital. Nurses, speaking under a promise of anonymity, told stories similar to Stanek's, about holding abortion survivors for hours until death, being unable to give any assistance except a warm blanket and their arms (see NRL News, 6/10/99, p. 5).
(In August, Calgary police closed an investigation into the nurses' charges, saying that "they had found no evidence of criminal misconduct," according to Alberta Report. "They said they had investigated only one case of genetic termination and interviewed no nurses." Pro-life groups and some politicians charged that the investigation was "half-hearted and incomplete," but no further action has been taken.)
There are important differences between the stories. Nurses at the Canadian hospital were forced to assist in the abortions and the abortions were done well into the third trimester. However, the similarities show that this practice is not rare or confined to a small area of North America.
"I want to get the word out to all of Illinois and all of the United States and stop these abortions," Stanek said. "Something as shocking as this can change people's hearts on the issue of abortion.">EN