Stillborn: a tragic dilemma
Giving birth to a stillborn baby and the ethical dilemma of organ donation.
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Giving birth to a stillborn is a harsh reality occasionally faced by expectant parents. Sometimes there are no obvious causes. Healthy babies right through all the terms of pregnancy can end up in situation you'd never thought you have to face.

Dealing with the consequences of having a stillbirth is always hard; there is heartache because you came so extremely close but at the same time you are back where you were a few months ago. You have a lot of fear inside of you because you aren’t aware of what happens next: you prepared for everything and, in the fading of a heartbeat, there isn’t a little bundle of joy to show off to the world, to cuddle and nurture. 

You are faced with challenges that you definitely didn’t prepare for, challenges such as excited family members that you have to break heart-sore news to. Challenges like going on with your life. How does one continue normally when a part of you has been taken away and there is nothing you can do to bring them back.

One couple experienced this horrific tragedy. According to The Stir, a day before Deanna Slifka was scheduled for her caesarean; she felt normal as if nothing was possibly wrong- she even felt her baby move. Thinking that she wouldn’t get to spend the rest of her life with this child was probably not even a thought. 

The couple and doctors believed it would be a successful delivery, but during the process the baby stopped breathing and the doctors were just not able to revive her. 

Making decisions in a difficult time

After the traumatic experience the couple got a call from someone asking them if they would donate their stillborn baby’s tissue or organs. If we had to put ourselves in their shoes, thinking about giving away your baby who just passed away in front of you’s organs would probably put most parents off, but they thought about it and answered “yes”. 

This is very selfless of them to do, something only someone with a good heart would do, but then... 

In many countries this could be seen as illegal. As an organ donor you give permission for your organs to be used, but this was an infant who didn’t make it; a baby without the option of giving permission.

So for many, this created a controversy because of the simple fact that the baby wasn’t able to say yes/no. 

What would you do in such a situation? Would you say yes to someone asking you to donate? 


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