Foetuses: Pain

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Conservative, South Holland and The Deepings

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the research entitled Reconsidering fetal pain, published in the Journal for Medical Ethics in January 2020.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department does not set clinical practice. To support clinical practice, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has considered the issue of fetal pain and awareness in its guideline on Fetal Awareness: Review of Research and Recommendations for Practice, published in March 2010.

The Department has brought the article to the attention of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It is for the Royal College to consider whether to revise the guidelines, having looked at the available evidence.

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