Pain limit of foetus determined

Recent reviews of reports have suggested that an unborn foetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks of gestation.

Released by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the two reports found that before this time, the brain of the foetus lacks the maturity to establish the necessary connections in the brain.

The reports were commissioned for review by the Department of Health following recommendations by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

According to the results, the foetus remains in a state of induced sleep, similar to unconsciousness.

Professor Allan Templeton, chair of the Fetal Awareness Working Party, commented: "These two reports represent an extensive review of the scientific and clinical literature, and I am grateful to the many people who contributed and in particular to the members of the two working parties.

"I believe we now have robust and updated guidance for healthcare professionals."

The current cut off point for an abortion in the UK stands at 24 weeks, however, prime minister David Cameron has recently expressed a desire for this to be lowered to between 20 and 22 weeks.

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Pain limit of foetus determined
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