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Medical Science Flips on Fetal Pain. What Else Will Doctors Change Their Minds About?

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In 2006 a landmark article, the British Medical Journal claimed that abortions without fetal anesthetic were okay before 26 weeks of gestation, because fetuses at five and a half months can't feel pain.

That was the 2006 opinion of Dr. Stuart W.G. Derbyshire, in discussions with American literary agent John Brockman, and that article came to be a basis for many abortions.

Maybe a lot of M.D.s secretly wondered if that was really true, because the history of medicine is full of bad guesses that turned out to be wrong.  But we know what happens if skeptics pipe up in that world in the Age of P.C.  They are like dissidents in Stalin's Moscow, who had a habit of disappearing.  Skeptics these days are not banished to the Gulag, exactly, but there is some much nicer way to end their careers.  Today, dissidents are silenced in a really nice way in Britain and America. 

This week, the medical establishment over there flipped on fetal pain, as published in the British Medical Journal of Ethics.  Sonograms and other new instruments show more about the fetal brain and pain perception.  They finally admitted to being wrong in 2006.  There was probably a lot of argument behind the scenes, but the BMJ of Ethics just published a retraction by Dr. Derbyshire, joined by John Brockman and others, saying that at 20 weeks babies might feel pain — maybe agonizing pain:snip:

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There is a word we use for Killing people (if they can feel pain or not)...I believe its called Murder.

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