British Government Health Care: Keep Your ‘Defective’ Babies Until Birth in Order to Harvest Their Organs

Jaxon Strong was born with anencephaly, but is still alive two years later.

By Rachel Alexander Published on March 7, 2016

At the annual meeting of the British Transplantation Society in Glasgow, it was revealed that the National Health Service, Britain’s government-run health care system, will start asking expectant mothers whose babies have fatal defects that they should keep them full-term — not to respect their lives, but in order to harvest their organs.

In the UK, many mothers abort their babies upon learning about birth defects. However, Britain is facing a shortage of body parts for transplantation; there are currently over 7,000 people on the organ waiting list, with three dying every day.

Dr Trevo Stammers, director for bioethics at St Mary’s University, London, condemned the practice. “It is a ghoulish suggestion that can only undermine public confidence in transplantation — one of the greatest medical advances of my lifetime,” he said. “Raiding the bodies of children born only for their organs will further tarnish the profession.”

Babies with the brain defect anencephaly would be recommended for harvesting. In many cases, the baby would be born brain dead and kept alive by artificial ventilation while its organs are harvested. However, not all babies with anencephaly end up dying. Angela Morales and Jaxon Strong both survived after birth in 2014. Now their parents work to increase awareness of the fact. Jaxon’s parents wrote on a website, “He can hear, see, can say words, has learned to use a pacifier, smile, laugh, and is working on the ability to eat on his own and use his arms and legs to learn to crawl, sit and hopefully one day, even walk on his own. ”

The practice received national attention in the U.S. in 1992, when the parents of Baby Theresa, who also had anencephaly, wanted to donate her organs at birth. However, Baby Theresa lived for nine days, and Florida law would not permit organ harvesting until she was fully dead. At that point, it was too late and the organs were no longer usable.

In 1992, the longest a baby with anencephaly had lived was two months. Now that these babies are surviving longer, it raises even more serious ethical questions about aborting them or harvesting their organs before they’re fully dead.


Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Sandra Alexander

    When those in power only believe that man/woman is a material being with no spiritual core, they make up the rules as they go along…They can abort, or euthanize because they don’t believe in the sanctity of human life, and they don’t believe in eternal life where they’ll one day face God, the Creator of us all….God is love and HE loves the little children from the moment HE gives them the gift of life..HE definitely loves all of the babies, maybe even especially those with anancephaly ……To think that any baby can be treated as a mere commodity (for harvesting purposes), seems to have become an accepted idea in our “Brave New World”, as the Planned Parenthood videos have exposed……something to buy and sell……Have our hearts become so hardened that we look the other way when the truth and cruelty of what is happening comes to light? ..Have we really bought in to “situation ethics”, which so easily translates into “rights for the rich and powerful”, trumping the “rights of the deformed or handicapped”? “Do none of us care, all we who pass by?”……..To me, looking at the haunting pictures of the little surviving baby accompanying Rachel’s article, comes close to “seeing the face of God”…

Gotta Serve Somebody
Joe Dallas
More from The Stream
Connect with Us