Expatica news

Premature baby ‘left to die’

21 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Two doctors and a maternity nurse have been arrested over the death of a premature baby boy at the weekend.

The baby, who was six weeks premature and weighing only 1.25 kg, was born in a Namur hospital at 4am on Friday but died between 8 and 9am.

His parents had refused medical efforts to keep him alive, fearing that the child would be handicapped.

The three medical staff arrested now face charges of “infanticide” and the “voluntary and premeditated homicide of a new-born child.”

They include the 40-year-old midwife, here 28 year old assistant and a 64-year-old gynaecologist.

Experts say the infant, who was breathing, could have survived with medical intervention and an inquiry has already been opened.

It is believed the mother, who works with handicapped children, was particularly sensitive to the difficulties these children face.

She may also face charges.

The clinic’s management alerted the judicial authorities when it learned of the incident.

In a statement issued at the weekend, the judiciary said “the medical personnel reacted badly to an abominable request by the parents.”

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news