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Thread: Scientists: Fetuses may not feel pain until week 30

  1. #1

    Scientists: Fetuses may not feel pain until week 30

    [QUOTE]Fetuses may not feel pain until week 30
    18:30 24 August 2005

    NewScientist.com news service
    Shaoni Bhattacharya

    Fetuses are unlikely to be able to feel pain until the last stage of pregnancy, a controversial new US study suggests.

    The analysis of medical literature relating to fetal pain concludes that fetuses of less than 30 weeks are unlikely to feel pain. It concludes that vital brain connections relating to pain perception form only between 23 to 30 weeks of gestation, and even if formed are unlikely to be functional until 30 weeks.

    The findings come into direct conflict with legislation in several US states – and a proposed US Congress Bill – that requires doctors to inform women seeking abortions 20 weeks after conception that the fetus can feel pain. The physician must also offer to give an anaesthetic or painkiller directly to the fetus.

    “Evidence is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” write the researchers, led by Mark Rosen at the University of California, San Francisco, US.

    They add in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): “Fetal anaesthesia or analgesia should not be recommended or routinely offered for abortion because current experimental techniques provide unknown fetal benefit and may increase risks for the woman.”

    Politics and ideology
    “For two years, we’ve had a committee of leading experts studying this issue, and they reached the same conclusions the authors of this study did,” says Wendy Chavkin, chair of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, based in New York City, US.

    “Laws dealing with this issue aren’t about medicine or public health – they’re about politics and ideology,” she adds. “This new JAMA article is another indication that legislation on this issue has no medical or scientific basis. These laws would force doctors to provide inaccurate, incomplete information to their patients.”

    She claims the proposed laws are “clearly intended to stigmatise abortion, the women who have abortions and the doctors who provide them”.

    But the study is likely to upset others. "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," Kanwaljeet Anand, a fetal pain expert, at the University of Arkansas told the Associated Press. "This is not the last word - definitely not."

    Psychological nature
    The authors of the controversial review define pain as “a subjective sensory and emotional experience that requires the presence of consciousness to permit recognition of a stimulus as unpleasant”.

    It is this psychological nature of pain which distinguishes it from automatic responses to physical stimuli, like the reflex reaction. Fetuses do show some withdrawal reflexes and “facial movements similar to those of adults experiencing pain” in behavioural studies. But these movements may not be necessarily controlled by the cortical area of the brain, they say.

    Fetal awareness of pain would require nerve connections to a region of the brain called the thalamus to be wired and working. But the studies analysed suggest this does not exist before 29 to 30 weeks.[/QUOTE]

    thoughts?

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=bitonti]thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    Abortion is bad.

    Free birth control and comprehensive sex-ed is good.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Abortion is bad.

    Free birth control and comprehensive sex-ed is good.[/QUOTE]

    :eek:

    "“For two years, we’ve had a committee of leading experts studying this issue, and they reached the same conclusions the authors of this study did,” says Wendy Chavkin, chair of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, based in New York City, US."

    Oh you mean the study you paid for? And got the results you paid for? I see.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=quantum]:eek:

    "“For two years, we’ve had a committee of leading experts studying this issue, and they reached the same conclusions the authors of this study did,” says Wendy Chavkin, chair of the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, based in New York City, US."

    Oh you mean the study you paid for? And got the results you paid for? I see.[/QUOTE]

    that person was referring to a different study then the one currently published in JAMA, which is objective research.

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]that person was referring to a different study then the one currently published in JAMA, which is objective research.[/QUOTE]


    ok, my bad

    but this:

    ""This is going to inflame a lot of scientists who are very, very concerned and [B]are far more knowledgeable in this area than the authors appear to be[/B]," Kanwaljeet Anand, a fetal pain expert, at the University of Arkansas told the Associated Press."

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=quantum]ok, my bad

    but this:

    ""This is going to inflame a lot of scientists who are very, very concerned and [b]are far more knowledgeable in this area than the authors appear to be[/b]," Kanwaljeet Anand, a fetal pain expert, at the University of Arkansas told the Associated Press."[/QUOTE]

    A Fetal Pain expert?????? I thought that was Rob Cordury's title.

  7. #7
    talk about biased - a fetal pain expert is completely threatened by this research - if it's correct it will put him out of a job. DIsprove fetal pain and society loses the need for fetal pain experts.

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    I'm just saying the jury's still out, is all. :)

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    [QUOTE=bitonti]thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    Based on the two statements below it appears that they have only suspicions themselves, in which case they are simply attention whores disguised as scientists.

    [QUOTE] The analysis of medical literature relating to fetal pain concludes that fetuses of less than 30 weeks are unlikely to feel pain. [/QUOTE]

    and
    [QUOTE]
    “Evidence is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” write the researchers,[/QUOTE]

    Evidence is limited and yet they conclude??

    Would you accept a criminal justice system that was allowed to operate like that? Especially if you were the one on trial?

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=Piper]Based on the two statements below it appears that they have only suspicions themselves, in which case they are simply attention whores disguised as scientists.



    and


    Evidence is limited and yet they conclude??

    Would you accept a criminal justice system that was allowed to operate like that? Especially if you were the one on trial?[/QUOTE]

    I disagree. Their use of qualifiers such as "unlikely" clearly shows they are not 100% sure. The article clearly shows these scientists believe addiitional research is neccessary.

    However, in this debate, the "pain" argument is not one that should be persued by the Anti-Abortion side IMO. Weather or not the fetus feels anything is irrelevant to the heart of moral argument behind the Abortion debate: Is a fetus a Life or not, and does it deserve the rights given to the born. Pain, or lack therof, is really quite irrelevant to that debate.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]I disagree. Their use of qualifiers such as "unlikely" clearly shows they are not 100% sure. The article clearly shows these scientists believe addiitional research is neccessary.

    However, in this debate, the "pain" argument is not one that should be persued by the Anti-Abortion side IMO. Weather or not the fetus feels anything is irrelevant to the heart of moral argument behind the Abortion debate: Is a fetus a Life or not, and does it deserve the rights given to the born. Pain, or lack therof, is really quite irrelevant to that debate.[/QUOTE]

    They why report on something that is inconclusive? That is my point. Attention whores. Useless statements without conclusions done solely for attention and to stir the soup.

    Much like posts made on this board.

    And I wouldn't bother debating abortion with anyone, let alone on this board.

    Kill 'em all. See if I care.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=Piper]They why report on something that is inconclusive? That is my point. Attention whores. Useless statements without conclusions done solely for attention and to stir the soup.

    Much like posts made on this board.

    And I wouldn't bother debating abortion with anyone, let alone on this board.

    Kill 'em all. See if I care.[/QUOTE]


    Ironic coming from someone so vociferous in his defense of religion, the untilmate "inconclusive" topic. :rolleyes:

    And if you didn't want to discuss/debate the topic of Abortion, why did you post ast all? After all, you know as well as I the motivation behind why bit posted this article.

    By the way, you may not have been paying attention lately, but I am no longer playing the "Stir the ****" role here. Sorry to dissapoint you, but it's been my personal positions all the time these days.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Ironic coming from someone so vociferous in his defense of religion, the untilmate "inconclusive" topic. :rolleyes:

    And if you didn't want to discuss/debate the topic of Abortion, why did you post ast all? After all, you know as well as I the motivation behind why bit posted this article.

    By the way, you may not have been paying attention lately, but I am no longer playing the "Stir the ****" role here. Sorry to dissapoint you, but it's been my personal positions all the time these days.[/QUOTE]

    I made no such defense of reliegion. Merely pointed out the hipocracy of those who used a scientific 'theory' to make posts to lampoon those who believed in religion. Most posts indicating that 'religious' people were dumb.

    And my purpose in commenting was on the flimsy 'proof' offered by the report. Ignored by the thread starter as usual. I also read somewhere else that two of the authors had ties to NARAL and commercial abortion.

    And while am neither dissappointed nor anthing else, who could ever tell what is genuine. You seem to think I have much more emotionally invested in this board than I do.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Piper]I made no such defense of reliegion. Merely pointed out the hipocracy of those who used a scientific 'theory' to make posts to lampoon those who believed in religion. Most posts indicating that 'religious' people were dumb.

    And my purpose in commenting was on the flimsy 'proof' offered by the report. Ignored by the thread starter as usual. I also read somewhere else that two of the authors had ties to NARAL and commercial abortion.

    And while I am neither dissappointed nor anthing else, who could ever tell what is genuine. You seem to think I have much more emotionally invested in this board than I do.[/QUOTE]

    4,734 posts and counting implies some dedication on your part, yes. But to be honest, I have no idea your true attachment or not to the the JI board. I can only extrapolote from your psoition as one of the top posters here that you had some attachment/investment here. If you don't, they why are you here posting so regularly and debating these topics at all?

    And if you are unable to determine what is genuine here, perhaps you should refrain from making snide comments about people only being here to "Stir the ****". Or better yet, if you don't know what's genuine, why not ask before you criticise? After all, how would you know enough to comment if you cannot tell what is genuine here?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=Piper]I made no such defense of reliegion. Merely pointed out the hipocracy of those who used a scientific 'theory' to make posts to lampoon those who believed in religion. Most posts indicating that 'religious' people were dumb.[/QUOTE]

    Oh, and there is no hypocricy here. Evolution (the theory in question) has a good sum of documented fact to back it's theory, and it admits, as a principle in science, that new information could be discovered and change the theory. Creationism/Intelligent Deisgn (since religious folks say it isn't Creationism in a new wrapper, I can only assume, the intelligent design was by super-intelligent Alien Hampsters) has no such tangible evidence or flexabillity toi change, only a desire to believe and unwavering faith that it must be right.

    I don't try to make religious folks look dumb Piper. Some of them do an excellent job of doing that themselves.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Warfish]
    And if you didn't want to discuss/debate the topic of Abortion, why did you post ast all? After all, you know as well as I the motivation behind why bit posted this article.[/QUOTE]

    I just like to have educated debate - is that a crime Warfish?

    to be honest i never thought about Pain either but apparently it was a big issue.

    what with all the fetal pain experts and all. fetal pain expertise sounds like a cottage psuedo-scientific industry if i've ever heard of one. :cool:

  17. #17
    So, if I drug someone and kill them - they die painlessly. That's okay, too? Because I have this neighbor who drives me nuts...

  18. #18
    The more I see these disgusting rationalizations for abortion, the more it repulses me.

    They wont feel any pain so its okay to rip them out of the mother's uterus and kill them? Ughh.

    But the practical reality is that the mothers of these millions of babies who have been killed wouldnt have wanted them, and that would be a big problem too.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]Oh, and there is no hypocricy here. Evolution (the theory in question) has a good sum of documented fact to back it's theory, and it admits, as a principle in science, that new information could be discovered and change the theory. Creationism/Intelligent Deisgn (since religious folks say it isn't Creationism in a new wrapper, I can only assume, the intelligent design was by super-intelligent Alien Hampsters) has no such tangible evidence or flexabillity toi change, only a desire to believe and unwavering faith that it must be right.

    I don't try to make religious folks look dumb Piper. Some of them do an excellent job of doing that themselves.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you for making my point.
    Last edited by Piper; 08-25-2005 at 08:05 AM.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]I just like to have educated debate - is that a crime Warfish?

    to be honest i never thought about Pain either but apparently it was a big issue.

    what with all the fetal pain experts and all. fetal pain expertise sounds like a cottage psuedo-scientific industry if i've ever heard of one. :cool:[/QUOTE]

    Because it couldn't just be people who care about children and are concerned that their pain might be overlooked.

    Do you hold the same jaded view toward all surgeons?

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