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

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

The question is whether the Big Media around the world will now tell women and men — AKA "fathers" — two things: 

First, that the best medical science of 2006 was plainly wrong. 

...and second, that pregnancy prevention is infinitely better than gambling on whatever official medicine thinks it knows today, based on the memory of young people who think they might be in love forever, when they can't remember the last time they did it anyway. 

If you don't want to gamble on current medical opinion, try abstention.  It always works, and most of our ancestors had enough self-discipline to practice it often enough for you to be born. 

Because...medical orthodoxy keeps changing, but they may not tell you that.  The Big Media certainly won't tell you. 

Uncertainty is built into life. 

When the ill and elderly seem to go into coma, medical science has found that some people are still conscious because a stroke or injury hit a part of the brainstem instead of the brain itself.  Not many people expected that, but paralytic coma is real enough.  Such patients can sometimes communicate with eye movements to focus on an alphabetical keyboard on a large screen.  This used to be called "coma" — but now it's "waking coma" or something like that.

Real medicine is usually more complicated than what you learn in med school, which is why Hippocrates swore an oath that lasted until recent years: First, Do No Harm. 

This week's news looks like a change in the science of pain, and that seems to be a good thing.  The people involved are also showing a lot of courage, because you know that the left will start screaming at every M.D. it can find, regardless of evidence. 

Leftists don't do evidence.  They do mad accusations without evidence, as Donald J. Trump knows so well. 

But in 2006, Dr. Derbyshire concluded in the British Medical Journal, in a flurry of double negatives, that "evidence for pain perception before 26 weeks is lacking."  This placed the burden of proof on the baby to show that he felt agonizing pain when doctors operated on the mother and her fetus. 

In the absence of evidence for pain, fetuses who were about to die had nothing to complain about, according to the BMJ in 2006.  Their brains could not feel pain. 

Medical people are rarely evil, although there are some horrific exceptions to that rule.  They usually want to err on the side of safety.  In surgery, anesthesiologists are trained to minimize pain to the patient, as long as their vital signs look normal.  If the patient has trouble breathing, the surgical team goes into action to save life. 

Do fetuses deserve the same benefit of the doubt as other patients? 

But our Left-ocrats like to flip the burden of proof, so they get to win all the time.  At expensive law schools, ambitious students presumably learn how to flip the burden of proof — since all the Democrats keep doing it, to the wild cheers of their mob. 

Even our biggest swamp crooks have learned to accuse President Trump of treason without bothering with evidence. 

Soon we will have to dunk The Donald in the village pond to see if he floats.  This is called "trial by ordeal," and we've been seeing it in D.C .just about every day since the last election — or maybe, since Justice Clarence Thomas went through his trial by ordeal in 1991.

So let's ask the Democrats their own kind of question and put the burden of proof on them.  Are Hollywood celebrities really sure when a fetus feels pain?  Is there a single Congress member who knows anything about fetal pain?  How about the state legislatures?  Your local Bar Association? 

Can they prove beyond reasonable doubt that the latest story in the British Medical Journal is truly true? 

None of the Hollywood left will get even another Botox injection if they think it might hurt.  Hollywood hates pain as much as it hates aging.  Raging narcissists don't care much about dead babies. 

Can infants in the womb experiencing agonizing pain around 20 or 26 weeks?  Or maybe we just don't know for sure? 

That's the question we are forbidden to ask.  The whole P.C. reign of terror on campus is set up to stop college students from even asking the moral question about life in the womb.  That's why they drown a brand-new witch every now and then, just to make sure we don't ask the wrong questions. 

Here is a better possibility. 

First, do no harm. 

Second, focus on pregnancy prevention.  If you never get pregnant, you don't have to face that do-or-die choice for your baby. 

Let future mothers and fathers talk about pregnancy and its consequences before they do it.  Now that the experts seem to see a danger they denied before, let all the readers of the New York Times wonder if they were also wrong before.  If the British medical establishment can 'fess up, why not the New York Times?  Why not the Washington Post? 

Maybe the time has come to expect couples to think ahead? 

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

The question is whether the Big Media around the world will now tell women and men — AKA "fathers" — two things: 

First, that the best medical science of 2006 was plainly wrong. 

...and second, that pregnancy prevention is infinitely better than gambling on whatever official medicine thinks it knows today, based on the memory of young people who think they might be in love forever, when they can't remember the last time they did it anyway. 

If you don't want to gamble on current medical opinion, try abstention.  It always works, and most of our ancestors had enough self-discipline to practice it often enough for you to be born. 

Because...medical orthodoxy keeps changing, but they may not tell you that.  The Big Media certainly won't tell you. 

Uncertainty is built into life. 

When the ill and elderly seem to go into coma, medical science has found that some people are still conscious because a stroke or injury hit a part of the brainstem instead of the brain itself.  Not many people expected that, but paralytic coma is real enough.  Such patients can sometimes communicate with eye movements to focus on an alphabetical keyboard on a large screen.  This used to be called "coma" — but now it's "waking coma" or something like that.

Real medicine is usually more complicated than what you learn in med school, which is why Hippocrates swore an oath that lasted until recent years: First, Do No Harm. 

This week's news looks like a change in the science of pain, and that seems to be a good thing.  The people involved are also showing a lot of courage, because you know that the left will start screaming at every M.D. it can find, regardless of evidence. 

Leftists don't do evidence.  They do mad accusations without evidence, as Donald J. Trump knows so well. 

But in 2006, Dr. Derbyshire concluded in the British Medical Journal, in a flurry of double negatives, that "evidence for pain perception before 26 weeks is lacking."  This placed the burden of proof on the baby to show that he felt agonizing pain when doctors operated on the mother and her fetus. 

In the absence of evidence for pain, fetuses who were about to die had nothing to complain about, according to the BMJ in 2006.  Their brains could not feel pain. 

Medical people are rarely evil, although there are some horrific exceptions to that rule.  They usually want to err on the side of safety.  In surgery, anesthesiologists are trained to minimize pain to the patient, as long as their vital signs look normal.  If the patient has trouble breathing, the surgical team goes into action to save life. 

Do fetuses deserve the same benefit of the doubt as other patients? 

But our Left-ocrats like to flip the burden of proof, so they get to win all the time.  At expensive law schools, ambitious students presumably learn how to flip the burden of proof — since all the Democrats keep doing it, to the wild cheers of their mob. 

Even our biggest swamp crooks have learned to accuse President Trump of treason without bothering with evidence. 

Soon we will have to dunk The Donald in the village pond to see if he floats.  This is called "trial by ordeal," and we've been seeing it in D.C .just about every day since the last election — or maybe, since Justice Clarence Thomas went through his trial by ordeal in 1991.

So let's ask the Democrats their own kind of question and put the burden of proof on them.  Are Hollywood celebrities really sure when a fetus feels pain?  Is there a single Congress member who knows anything about fetal pain?  How about the state legislatures?  Your local Bar Association? 

Can they prove beyond reasonable doubt that the latest story in the British Medical Journal is truly true? 

None of the Hollywood left will get even another Botox injection if they think it might hurt.  Hollywood hates pain as much as it hates aging.  Raging narcissists don't care much about dead babies. 

Can infants in the womb experiencing agonizing pain around 20 or 26 weeks?  Or maybe we just don't know for sure? 

That's the question we are forbidden to ask.  The whole P.C. reign of terror on campus is set up to stop college students from even asking the moral question about life in the womb.  That's why they drown a brand-new witch every now and then, just to make sure we don't ask the wrong questions. 

Here is a better possibility. 

First, do no harm. 

Second, focus on pregnancy prevention.  If you never get pregnant, you don't have to face that do-or-die choice for your baby. 

Let future mothers and fathers talk about pregnancy and its consequences before they do it.  Now that the experts seem to see a danger they denied before, let all the readers of the New York Times wonder if they were also wrong before.  If the British medical establishment can 'fess up, why not the New York Times?  Why not the Washington Post? 

Maybe the time has come to expect couples to think ahead?