Originally Posted by bekajoi
So... lets see, the fetus is incapable of feeling pain in the first trimester, but the pain receptors start to form in the 7th week?
Slightly contradictory if you ask me. That reads, to ME, that the baby can feel by the 7th week, in pain's most rudamentory form, at least. Pain, for example. Pain, comfort. Those 2 would be apparent to the fetus by this point.
So based on what I've read from you (and others) so far is that after baby can feel pain, abortion would be wrong? So abortion after the 7th week would not be OK in your book?
I have coppied a article below that states a belief that is widley held in the scientific community about the ability of a fetus to feel pain.
Does a human fetus feel pain? And if so, at what stage of development? The scientific debate rages this week in series of articles published in the British Medical Journal.
"Pain is a complex phenomenon which can include feeling, suffering, and learning," write Dr. Vivette Glover and Prof. Nicholas Fisk from the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital in London. "Even if the nature of the experience changes with development, this does not prove that immature humans cannot be distressed by pain."
Some authors argue that whether a fetus feels pain hinges not on its biological development, but on the development of consciousness.
According to Dr. Stuart Derbyshire, professor of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a number of studies suggest that 26 weeks is the developmental point at which the experience of pain arises. But he says that a fetus cannot tell the difference between pain from a reflex (automatic) reaction to some form of "noxious" sensation.
"Fetal pain is therefore a misnomer at any stage of development," Derbyshire writes. "Scientific evidence suggests that women considering abortion can be assured that fetuses do not experience pain in the way that those who oppose abortion claim," he adds.
But others argue that measures of "hormonal stress responses" in the unborn during invasive procedures such as abortion and birth indicate that the fetus is suffering.
Glover and Fisk argue that it seems likely a fetus can feel pain when certain neural connections are established. Though we cannot measure pain, they say, we can measure fetal hormone changes indicating stress.
"The fetus may be subject to different kinds of stress or pain during invasive procedures, termination, and even birth," they write, adding that pregnancy terminations are usually carried out before 20 weeks, "when it is uncertain if the fetus feels anything at all."
Glover and Fisk suggest that until evidence arrives to the contrary, "those conducting later terminations should try to use methods that are likely to cause as little suffering as possible."
Weighing in on the side of Derbyshire, Dr. Zbigniew Szawarski of the University of Wales in Swansea, argues that a fetus probably feels no pain in the absence of a "sense of self."
And Dr. Adrian Lloyd Thomas of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London agrees. He says using current definitions of feeling and pain, the answer to "Can a fetus feel pain?" must be "no."
However, Lloyd Thomas notes that the nervous system of the unborn baby "mounts protective responses to tissue injury starting before the last trimester. More research is urgently needed, he writes, adding that "it may now be pertinent to consider pain control in medical procedures for fetuses in the last trimester."