Abandoning a baby in the safest way

An orderly, Stefano Lorenzi, shows how to place an infant through a hatch into a heated crib.A snippet from New York Times:
A foundling wheel at the Ospedale degli Innocenti orphanage in Florence.In the Middle Ages, new mothers in Rome could abandon their unwanted babies in a “foundling wheel” (left image) — a revolving wooden barrel lodged in a wall, often in a convent, that allowed women to deposit their offspring without being seen.

Now a Rome hospital, the Casilino Polyclinic, has introduced a technologically advanced version of the foundling wheel — not at all a wheel but very much like an A.T.M. booth. For the first time a new mother left her baby there on Saturday night, and on Monday the child, a boy about 3 months old, was doing well, said Dr. Piermichele Paolillo, who directs the neonatal unit at the hospital.

The baby was deposited in a small structure (top image) equipped with a heated cradle and lifesaving instruments, including a respirator. The moment the child is abandoned an alarm goes off in the hospital’s emergency room, ensuring that the baby receives immediate first aid from a team of specialists.

I am not sure if this is a good idea. On one hand, this will allow abandoned babies to get immediate medical care but on the other hand, this will encourage more women to abandon babies.

Link & Image: New York Times
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mikelite said…
spluch, that last comment is an absolute abomination to rational thought. how could this possibly ENCOURAGE more women to dump their babies? That kind of backward, irrational thinking is on part with the Bush Administrations thinking that handing out condoms will encourage kids to have sex. If they're gonna look to dispose of a baby, they'll do it regardless if there's a proper location for it or not. having an outlet won't appeal to anyone but those in the most desperate situations. I'd much rather have this than have a kid turn up in a dumpster somewhere. I'd love to know how you can explain or justify a comment like that.
Spluch said…
Well Mikelite, it might actually encourage more women to dump their babies. Some women may have difficulties in bringing up their baby - say a young, single parent - and hence may actually abandon her child, knowing that the baby will receive adequate medical care.

All I'm saying is that it will influence those individuals who are at a dilemma on whether to keep the baby. Knowing that the baby will be well taken care of, she may choose the easy way out and abandon them.

On the other hand, without the “foundling wheel”, she may not bear to abandon the poor baby somewhere in a back alley or a dumpster, since she can never be sure that the baby will survive, or picked up by someone else.
Anonymous said…
Still, I think it's a better alternative to growing up in a home where you're not wanted and not adequately cared for. There's a lot of middle ground between option 1, a safe place to take your baby and option 2, a dumpster. And, while that "middle ground" may be socially acceptable, it does not guarantee love and nurturing which are as needed by a child as food and shelter. If a mother can't guarantee all of those, a baby-drop window could be a saving grace.