Some parents receive the shocking news that the baby they are expecting is unlikely to survive for long after birth. The months of pregnancy remaining can appear to them as bleak and pointless, as they struggle to reconcile their own expectations, along with those of family and friends, with the reality of a newborn infant with a terminal illness, or a child with a chronic disability.
In this situation, doctors are called upon to be compassionate with, and supportive of, parents who are both shocked and grieving and to facilitate them in every way throughout the pregnancy.
The doctor must also remember that the dying or disabled child in the womb is no different from the dying or disabled child outside the womb. The ethical responsibility to respect human life and to avoid intentional harm is still valid.
Doctors for Life opposes the termination of pregnancy for reasons of terminal illness or disability diagnosed in the infant prior to birth.
Doctors for Life wholeheartedly supports the provision of appropriate hospice care for children born with life-limiting illnesses and their families.