Krishna Haksar’s May 30 letter, “Baby hatch is not the answer,” about the baby hatch facility recently opened at Kumamoto’s Jikei hospital, fails to acknowledge those babies born to women in circumstances in which they cannot share their plight with anyone else.
I am thinking specifically of a case in Japan some years ago when a baby born to a junior high school student and her boyfriend — after it was secretly delivered by them in an open-air location — was abandoned in a nearby temple in cold weather and died. One assumes that the couple were fearful of the consequences of their actions and thus felt that they had no choice but to abandon the infant.
If there had been a facility similar to Jikei’s baby hatch, would the two have taken the baby there? We will never know, but at least there would have existed an alternative for this doubtlessly distressed and fearful couple that could have led to their baby receiving medical care and attention.
The concept of a “strong monitoring agency” does not apply to those babies born in secret and then abandoned. The Jikei baby hatch is not the perfect answer, but at least it offers a chance of life to abandoned babies who otherwise may die hours after birth in dreadful circumstances.
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