Thursday, November 14, 2013
(Vatican Radio) A Hungarian university hospital says a premature but healthy baby was delivered after doctors kept the child's brain-dead mother on life support for three months, a move it says will shake the foundations of human medicine.
After a 31-year-old mother suffered a stroke when she was just 15 weeks pregnant, the hospital of the University of Debrecen in eastern Hungary sprang into action. In a statement to Vatican Radio, the university said its Medical and Health Science Center managed to save her foetus.
The baby was delivered via cesarean section this summer at 27 weeks, weighing 1.4 kilograms, about three pounds or 1.8 ounces. It happened after the child's brain-dead mother was put on life support, following requests of a "grieving family", doctors said. The mother's organs — her heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas — were donated to four patients awaiting a life-saving transplant, two days after the delivery.
The Reformed Church backed university, the oldest in Hungary, said the "ground-breaking results in the fields of donor care and obstetrics" meant, in its words, "a scientific breakthrough that could potentially shake the foundations of human medicine." The medical center's director, Béla Fülesdi, told reporters that this "was the first time" the university carried out the procedures. "This would not have been possible without the support of the family and doctors working here," he said.