Blog: Why is pain in children ignored?

December 16th, 2013

Why is pain in children ignored?

By Patrick McGrath

It is hard to believe that in the mid 1980s it was standard care, even in many academic health centres, for infants to have open heart surgery with no anaesthesia but just a drug to keep the infant still.

This practice was blown out of the water by a courageous mother, Jill Lawson, who against great resistance, pushed to publicize the lack of anaesthesia during open heart surgery that her son, Jeffrey Lawson, had undergone at DC children’s hospital. After dozens of letters and requests for a review of the policy and many condescending rebuffs, the Washington Post published her story. All hell broke loose. There were dozens of news stories because every mother knew that babies feel pain. How could health professionals be so stupid?

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