Thursday 10 June 2010

Arbitrary Rules

I'm not going to apologise for neglecting my blog because I have been busy being a mum. But I have a bee in my bonnet tonight.

A friend of mine lost her baby at 22 weeks a few weeks ago. The baby had a terminal heart defect.

Here in the UK when pregnant you are exempt from paying for dental fees and prescriptions until your baby turns 1. If you baby is late you can apply for an extension. If your baby is born early, you can keep the card until your estimated due date.

If your baby dies before 24 weeks, you must hand the card back!!! My friend received a letter today asking her to return it. I just can't believe it. Of course I know the UK consider 24 weeks the age of viability (which is a story for another rant post). They termed her baby's death a miscarriage. This dear baby, weighing only 7lb less than Joseph, with perfect features, who was entitled to a funeral, was not a miscarriage.

This mummy has been through one of the most heart wrenching things a mummy could ever have to go through, and now the indignity of having to hand her prescription card back, its just wrong.

And what really annoys me is that its not about money. They could have proceeded longer with the pregnancy, had multiple scans, the baby could have been kept alive for weeks and then passed away, costing thousands of pounds. I am not for a minute saying that this wouldn't be money well spent, however compared with the cost of covering a few measly prescriptions, what harm would have come from letting this mummy have her card until the baby's expected due date?

Why is this country treating women like this? Because they can. Because when your traumatised the last thing your worried about is trivialities like free prescriptions. You let it go, you swallow it, and you keep going, because you have to.

The law needs to change.

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more. It is very wrong. I have all sorts of issues with 'viability' as you've probably guessed.

    My sincere condolences to your friend on the loss of her child. I'm so sorry.