Renowned neonatologist claims fetuses feel pain

Fetuses do feel pain, according to Professor KJS Anand, a renowned neonatologist from the University of Kansas, who proved during the 1980s that newborns feel pain.

In his latest study reported in the June 2006 issue of "Pain Clinical Updates," official review of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Professor Anand reports that fetuses also feel pain as well, possibly even before late pregnancy.

Zenit reports that Professor Anand's conclusions are supported by Professor Carlo Bellieni, neonatologist of Intensive Neonatal Therapy at Sienna's Le Scotte University Polyclinic, who commented that the "scientific evidence on the fetal pain" found in the study comes from "the highest world authority" on the topic.

According to Anand, the study was carried out because "fetal pain has so many implications that it requires a scientific appraisal independent of the heated controversies regarding abortion, women's rights, or the beginnings of human life."

"In a careful analysis of fetal behavior that relies upon memory and learning as the highest-order evidence for psychological function in utero," it can be "concluded that conscious sensory perception does occur in the fetus," he said.

"Abortion," the article states, "or fetal surgery provoke robust behavioral and physiological responses not unlike the fetal responses to other aversive stimuli."

Anand is also critical of work that casts doubt on prenatal pain based on the peculiarity of the fetus' nervous system.

Neonatologist Proves That Fetus Feel Pain Possibly Before Late Gestation (Zenit, 11/6/2006)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pain: Clinical Updates (International Association for the Study of Pain, June 2006)
Fetal Pain (Wikipedia)
Neonatal Pain Policy (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)

13 Jun 2006