2 Oct 2019 1378 Respondents
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By David Seedhouse
Senior Thinker (2779 XP)
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BABY BOXES: Rejection or Protection? (PRACTICE CASE)

BABY BOXES: Rejection or Protection? (PRACTICE CASE)

Boxes where parents can leave an unwanted baby, common in medieval Europe, have been making a comeback over the last 10 years. Supporters say a heated box, monitored by nurses, is better for babies than abandonment on the street - but the UN says it violates the rights of the child.

Baby boxes are stainless steel receptacles opening from the safety of the hospital to the world and ready to alert hospital staff to any new arrival. They contain warm blankets and a letter for the person leaving the baby reassuring them that they will not be pursued and that they retain the option to change their mind.

There are currently no baby boxes in the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand.

As a health professional, what is your view? Would you agree to monitor a baby box? Do you condemn this idea or support it?

Are baby boxes a sign of a civilised society or do they enable new parents to ignore their responsibilities? Do they support family life or undermine it?

Read more about the ethical complexities here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18585020

Background to the collaboration:

The 'Baby Boxes' case has been selected by staff at Warwick, Nottingham and Monash Universities, and is open to anyone in the participating universities to respond to. We are hoping to get input from many disciplines.

The VX is open and transparent, so any respondent will be free to read and analyse the data as it comes in. At the click of a mouse anyone can filter for one or more universities only, in the reports section. So, for example, results from only Warwick and Monash can be shown, analysed and printed at will. Please note that this is not a formal research project - it is for education and open conversations only. Only respondents can access the data.

This case was originally developed by Persefoni Stylianoudaki and Judith Perkis of Warwick University and subsequently adapted for the collaboration.

It is proposed that a baby box should be made available in each major city in our nation

Key Concepts