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Fetal pain

Professor Robert White, director of the division of neurosurgery and brain research laboratory at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, told a congressional subcommittee that “the fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully capable of experiencing pain. Without a doubt, this is a dreadfully painful experience for any such infant subjected to such a surgical procedure.” Paul Ranalli, M.D., a neurologist on the medical faculty at the University of Toronto, also stated: “Intriguingly, far from being less able to detect pain, such premature newborns may be more sensitive to painful stimulation.” He said that one study, regarding babies born under 30 weeks, indicates it may be that “the newly-established pain system is ‘raw’ and unmodified at such a tender age.”

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