Re: Foetuses

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From:Phyllis Davie <> (by way of histonet)
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  This response will be a very personal opinion.  My brother and
sister-in-law had a series of miscarriages, culminating in a baby
daughter, still-born at 8 months gestation.  Of course they were
devastated, but the nursing staff dressed the baby, put a bow on her
head, and took pictures of her.  Now I've worked in pathology for 16
years, including collecting tissue samples from dead fetuses and infants
all throughout my first pregnancy, so I'm a little more desensitized than
most, but to me she looked like a dead baby with part of the skin
sloughing off.  My brother and sister-in-law however, only see their
beautiful, beloved lost daughter.  Her picture hangs in their living room
still, next to that of her 2 older brothers, and 1 younger sister.  So
the humane thing to do?  In my opinion, do anything you can to allow the
family to see that dead foetus as a beloved lost family member.  I would
recommend working with the nursing staff to see if it is possible to
dress and take pictures  BEFORE the fetuses end up in formalin.  But if
not, well, wash off the baby and do the best you can.
     I carry my niece's picture in my wallet still.  It reminds me of
her, and of the fact that my sensibilities are not everyone elses.  Hope
that helps.

Phyllis Davie

>Here in Malta, I work in the only major hospital there is, which is run by
>Government. We need to set up a policy regarding access to foetuses. We
>have had
>requests from the Maternity wards to allow parents to take pictures of the
>foetuses which have been in formalin. They are not a pretty sight.
>Their request is, that we allow a nurse to dress up the foetus, leaving
>just the
>face and hands showing. Then the nurse takes the foetus to the parents who
>take the photo.
>Are these things allowed in your hospitals?
>Is it the logical thing to do?
>Is it humane?
>Please, I need some feedback.
>St. Luke's Hospital

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