Illness and the Unborn
The worst thing is, the story linked above doesn’t have to be either/or. In the UK, we trust science and medicine far more than in Third World countries. I use the term Third World in this instance to determine not economic development but modes of thinking.
- Countries comprising the First World have rejected religion as a guide to their national medicine and health systems and have completely adopted a scientific approach.
- Countries comprising the Second World have largely adopted a scientific approach to medicine and health but still have pockets of resistance and a reliance of bronze age thinking as regards health and some elements of snake oil medicine. Countries like America falls into this category.
- Countries falling into the category of Third World have severe restrictions on the scientific approach to medicine and health. Most of the theocracies fall into this category as do countries where religions are a significant threat to secular government.
The article below shows what can happen in Third World countries. And it is, for more enlightened societies a disgrace. So let me discuss the approach taken in First World countries. I have recent personal experience.
Last year, my daughter announced that she was pregnant. Three months later it was found that she was suffering from breast cancer. Immediately, a cancer team was formed to manage with her personal treatment. It was immediately decided that her life was to take priority; after all, after treatment she should be able to have another baby if she lost the one she was carrying. However, because she had passed into the second trimester, it was felt that the baby could survive a type of chemotherapy that should not pass through the placenta. My daughter was started on the treatment immediately. The baby would have to be delivered prematurely to allow a more aggressive form of chemotherapy to be used but the doctors would continue the first stage of treatment for as long as possible. Six weeks before full term, the baby was delivered by caesarian section and the more aggressive treatment was begun.
The baby spent five days in special care and then was judged to be doing so well that she was released to community care at home. My daughter’s treatment continued and ended when her breast was removed. She is still receiving Herceptin and will have her breast rebuilt later this year. The baby is now beginning to walk and shows no sign of the trauma before her birth. She celebrates her first birthday next month.
Of course economic factors will affect how much science and technology can be introduced in a country but if the First World mode of thinking is not entrenched within the minds of government ministers and the power of religion is not curbed, more distressing stories like that reported above will continue to come to light.