Parents of Micro-Premies should have the Right to Hope

A couple of years ago we told the world the story of Sonia and Roy whose twins were born prematurely and were denied active care because they were just at 21 weeks old.  However, babies born this early have survived in other jurisdictions, so why was no help even considered? To read more about Sonia and Roy's story, click here.

When we brought this issue to the public’s attention, we were determined to learn why Alberta Health Services (AHS) behaved the way they did towards these parents (and their twins Cloud and Thunder).  We firmly believe that if there was the slightest chance that active medical care would have saved the lives of their babies, then Sonia and Roy had the right to that hope.

When we brought this problem forward, there was a lot of horror at the way this family was treated.  People wanted to know how this could happen in Alberta?  At The Wilberforce Project, we were determined to find answers.

Recently, because of generous supporters, we were able to scrape together the money to hire a policy analyst to do the necessary research.  You can read our report here.

Three pieces of public policy were recommended:

  • AHS removes its rule that children younger than 23 weeks should not receive active care, and replace it with the Ontario model which has no minimum age for active care but leaves the decision up to parents advised by doctors.
  • AHS does a better job of ensuring that mothers who are at a high risk of premature labour are already located at a hospital which is capable of treating micro-premie babies instead of waiting for labour to develop before initiating the transfer.
  • The Governor General issues an Order in Council outlining and upholding the rights of micro-premie babies and their parents.

We believe the first two changes would modernize archaic AHS policies so parents in Alberta and their premature babies have access to care and the right to hope. 

The Order in Council would demonstrate that our federal government takes seriously the rights of the small and weak in our society.

If you believe that parents of micro-premies have the right to hope, and want to see our three policy suggestions implemented, please sign our petition and join the fight!

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