Doctors at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, refused to help two prematurely born twin babies, merely allowing them to die in their mother’s arms. The pro-life organization Created Equal posted the heartbreaking video this week, even though the events took place last June. The mother, identified as “Amanda F.,” told her harrowing story in a statement.
“I pleaded with nurses and other hospital staff to help try to save my babies. I was told they would not survive,” Amanda wrote. “I asked if they would at minimum assess the babies after they were born to determine the possibility of survival. I was informed NICU [Natal Intensive Care Unit] would not assess the twins and that the babies would probably be stillborn or at best breathe for a moment.”
The twins both survived labor, however. As the bereaved mother wrote, Emery “survived for about 45 minutes before passing away without any assistance from hospital staff.” Her second son, Elliot, not only breathed but cried. He lived for two and a half hours, while the doctors “did nothing.”
“Though I repeatedly asked staff to help or assess my babies, I was told they were born too young. But there is no documentation to prove they were born too young,” Amanda wrote.
At 22 weeks and 2 days pregnant with twins, the mother rushed to Riverside Methodist Hospital Labor & Delivery on June 24, 2017. She was bleeding, and feared a miscarriage. Staff told her that if the babies were delivered before 22 weeks and 5 days, doctors would make no attempt to resuscitate them. If the babies made it to 22 weeks and 5 days, they would consider intervention.
Amanda entered labor three days later, on June 27. “Though I was 22 weeks and 5 days in my pregnancy, we were told the babies were coming too early, that NICU would not be present for the birth, and that no effort would be made to help the twins,” she recalled.
The video documents the tragedy that happened next. After Emery was born, a neonatal doctor came in, wrapped the baby in a blanket, put him under a heat lamp, and opened his mouth.
“Hi!” Amanda tells Emery in the heartbreaking video. Then she turns to the hospital staff, “You guys are gonna save him, right? Promise me they’re gonna save him.”
“They’re gonna — look at him, baby,” one staff member says. Another promises that a neonatologist “is on her way in.”
“Look at him, please save him,” Amanda pleads. “Just hold him, sweetie,” a staffer says.
No help arrives.
The video jumps to the birth of Elliot, and a nurse puts the tiny baby in his mother’s arms. Staff wrap him in blankets, but do nothing to assess his viability or to help him live. Elliot makes a little cry as the nurses move him.
“Hi … hi,” Amanda tells her newborn son. “Mommy tried. Mommy tried.”
After Elliot died after 2 hours and 30 minutes, the hospital discharged the bereaved mother, giving her paperwork on how to get through a stillbirth.
Amanda (or someone with Created Equal) filed a complaint to the hospital, and apparently received little to no response.
The video concludes with a chilling audio recording from the hospital. “The Ethics and Compliance Department has investigated and addressed the concern brought by the caller,” a woman coldly and clinically says. “We consider this matter closed.”
As the video repeats “We consider this matter closed,” three statements appear on the screeen: “They stood by while Amanda’s sons died. They denied her pleas for help. They considered this stillbirth.”
A 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that babies prematurely born after 22 weeks in the womb can survive with medical intervention. Some have serious birth defects, but survival is possible.
A few babies have survived even when prematurely born after only 21 weeks in the womb. The journal Pediatrics featured the story of Amillia Taylor, who remained healthy after being born in 2013 after merely 21 weeks and six days in the womb. In 2010, Europe’s earliest-born baby, Frieda Mangold, was born at 21 weeks and five days.
Despite these advances in medicine, Amanda F.’s tragic story is not unique. Last December, British doctors refused to intervene to save the life of Autumn Dennis, born after 22 weeks and five days gestation.
These tragedies also echoed the government-mandated deaths of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard. The 23-month-old Evans perished days after the British court system refused his father’s urgent requests to transport him to Italy for experimental treatment. The 11-month-old Gard died after the British court system refused his parents’ urgent pleas to transport him to New York for experimental treatment.
The tragic deaths of these preemie twins also followed the cold logic of doctors refusing to help. Perhaps doctors are so hesitant to help because, under U.S. abortion law, the earliest time for an infant’s viability is 24 weeks gestation. Babies who have not been in the womb that long are considered less than human, and therefore can be aborted.
In the cases of these poor twins and Autumn Dennis, the mothers very much did not want to abort their children — they wanted to save them. Yet doctors stubbornly clung to the idea that these premature babies were stillborn. They denied the life right in front of their eyes. Either the abortion mentality or something else rendered these doctors utterly blind to the life in front of them.
In any case, this story is an outrage, and Created Equal was right to urge viewers to reach out to the Ohio Department of Health and Riverside Hospita CEO David Blom.
An Ohio state legislator — Christina Hagan-Nemeth (R-District 50) — shared a story about the case, declaring it “beyond disturbing.”
“What is happening in our hospitals if patient care isn’t aimed at preserving and protecting the most vulnerable human life?” Hagan-Nemeth, who is herself pregnant with twins, posted. “I am devastated and infuriated. If there is a born alive infant protection act for abortion survivors why would that not apply to a child in this scenario as well? I will have a tough time sleeping tonight knowing this is legal.”
This is beyond deeply disturbing. What is happening in our hospitals if patient care isn’t aimed at preserving and…
Watch the video below, contact Riverside Hospital, and share this story far and wide. This kind of evil neglect from doctors is utterly unacceptable.