Fetal-pain bills are being pushed, despite the lack of evidence:

The most recent study on fetal pain, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that it was unlikely that a fetus could feel pain before the third trimester, and that an anesthetic would pose an unnecessary risk to women.

Some however, have more common sense:

“I trust doctors, not the legislature, to make medical judgments,” Doyle said in a released statement. “We should keep the doctor-patient relationship between doctors and patients, and keep the legislature out of it.”

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  • Anonymous

    Uh-huh. Trusting the very same doctors who used to swear up and down that newborns couldn’t feel pain, so it was okay to perform circumcisions and surgeries without anesthesia? And this masquerades as ‘common sense’? Oh please.

  • gasman

    As for as fetal pain in the abortion debate: Pain is considered to be the conscious perception of a noxious stimulus. The key element here is conscious. If the being is conscious and sentient is it appropriate to be performing an abortion? If it is not conscious or sentient then no pain can exist so no treatment is necessary.

    For anonymous 12:42 AM

    It wasn’t that docs were evil in supposing that infants had a different conscious perception of noxious stimuli, it was that the consequence of treating this possibility was frought with quite well established risk, plus risks to later development that might not yet have been appreciated.

    I am a pediatric anesthesiologist; my living depends on the idea that very young people need analgesia and anesthesia. Yet, there is always a risk/benefit assessment that must be considered. A few years back when my infant son underwent elective neonatal circumcision my analgesia plan was topical lidocaine cream. This was imperfect analgesia, but the incremental risks for creating perfect analgesia was not reasonable to take.

    Likewise for myself, a few years ago, I opted for inguinal hernia repair under local anesthesia. With some minor discomforts I was able to avoid risks and side effects of a general anesthetic or spinal anesthetic. No pain, no gain applies here as well.

    Some parents choose differently for their kids. They will literally accept a small but finite increased risk of death or brain damage to avoid their child experiencing a needle stick. This trade-off occurs when parents want their child anesthetized before an IV is placed. The risk arises because there is no way to rapidly administer meds to rescue a life threatening problem that might arise during anesthesia induction. That is their choice; trade some small but finite risk of death for the avoidance of a mild physical discomfort. That is their decision and I honor it.