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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 02:40 GMT
'No revival' for premature babies
A premature baby
The report says babies born at 22 weeks should not be resuscitated
Babies born at or before 22 weeks should not be resuscitated or given intensive care, a report has said.

The recommendation is being put forward by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, which considers ethical questions raised by advances in medical research.

For those born after 23 weeks, the recommendation is that doctors should review the situation with the parents and take their wishes into account.

The report has been released after two years of research.

BBC health correspondent Jane Dreaper says the report comes against a backdrop of medical advances which have been able to sustain the lives of very premature babies.

But it also arrives in the wake of greater information about the number who either do not eventually survive, or go on to have disabilities.

Our correspondent says the Nuffield Council on Bioethics felt a discussion of this controversial subject was timely.

Its inquiry also looked at longer-term support for families, and resource implications for the NHS.

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