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Should a Father Dying Justify Bringing a Baby Into the World Prematurely?
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In Episode 308, Sins of the Father, Frank and Margaret are excited to bring their first baby into the world. But Frank may not live long enough to hold his child. Frank is dying of cancer. He's gone through every treatment, but his days now, are numbered.
Fife and Pete rush him into brutal experimental treatment in the hopes that he can make it to the birth of his son. Instead of lengthening his life, painful complications bring his death closer. He won't make it to the birth. And his baby will have to be told one day that their father never had the chance to hold them.
But what if we can bring the baby to the father? With drugs, a woman can be induced to go into labor early. Margaret is 34 weeks along. The baby is viable, but that doesn't mean that the last eight weeks of pregnancy isn't important. Babies gain strength and weight near the finish line. It's never recommended to deliver a child prematurely unless there is a compelling medical reason.
In this case, there is a compelling emotional reason. Fife is for it, and so is Pete. Addison relents and Margaret gives birth to a beautiful daughter. Frank is able to meet his child before he passes on.
Despite a premature birth, the baby is healthy. But it's a huge risk to rush a natural process that brings new life into the world.
Fife tells Addison that medicine can make things happen that should happen. But is that really the point of medicine? To manipulate nature to satisfy ourselves?
What do you think?