Letter: The market value of newborn lives

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The Independent Online
Sir: The report from the Office of Health Economics ('Cost 'dilemma' posed by premature babies', 20 January) implies that there will be no handicapped survivors if there is no intensive care. This is not true. The vast majority of very pre-term babies are potentially normal survivors, providing they receive the optimal level of intensive care.

Until premature births can be prevented - and researchers and doctors are working very hard towards this goal - we will need to help all those struggling to live. There are hundreds of thousands of parents who are very glad that the NHS was able to help their prematurely born baby.

Yours faithfully,

ANNE LUTHER

Director General

Action Research

Horsham, West Sussex

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