Friday 9 May 2008

Late term abortion

Nadine Dorries has shown herself to be utterly able to deal with any facts before. First her accusations against Ben Goldacre over stealing data that was published by her committee. Then falling for 'the hand hope' rubbish. Now a group of specialists in neonatal, perinatal and paediatric medicine and epidemiology read the comments of the house Science and Technology committee that "it was recognised that published peer reviewed UK evidence is lacking to answer the question of whether the survival of infants born at 23 or 24 weeks has improved in recent years." and did a study comparing 1994-9 with 2000-5. The study looked at all infants born in the region in question and concluded:

Survival of infants born at 24 and 25 weeks of gestation has significantly increased. Although over half the cohort of infants born at 23 weeks was admitted to neonatal intensive care, there was no improvement in survival at this gestation. Care for infants born at 22 weeks remained unsuccessful.

So what was Nadine's reaction?

This report is the most desperate piece of tosh produced by the pro-choice lobby and it smells of one thing, desperation.
To use a particularly childish, but I think apposite response no you are. This isn't opinion, this is science, the only way this could be bunkum is if they had made the numbers up, which given these are numbers that are a matter of public record isn't really a feasible idea. There isn't even any complex statistics in the research to confuse someone not versed in epidemiological methodology, they key point pretty much boils down to: is an increase to 19% from 18% between two five year periods a significant one? I don't think it is difficult to accept the conclusion that the answer is no.

The really great thing is that Nadine asks the question "No improvement in neo-natal care in twelve years? Really? So where has all the money that has been pumped into neo-natal services gone then?" to which the answer is in the report! "The proportion of infants dying in delivery rooms was similar in the two periods, but a significant improvement was seen in the number of infants surviving to discharge". Nadine thinks that those using science and facts have shot them selves in the foot with this report, I think she has shot herself in the head with this reaction.

No comments: