Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria, study finds

Date:
December 5, 2012
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Rates of reported neonaticide have more than halved following the implementation of a unique 'anonymous delivery' law in Austria, finds a new study.

Rates of reported neonaticide have more than halved following the implementation of a unique 'anonymous delivery' law in Austria, finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Researchers, from the Medical University of Vienna, looked at the rates of reported neonaticide (where a child is killed within the first 24 hours of birth) in Austria prior to and after the implementation of the 'anonymous delivery' law which was introduced in 2001. The law allows women access to antenatal care and to give birth in a hospital anonymously and free of charge.

Rates of neonaticide were obtained from police records pre and post the introduction of the law between 1991-2001 and 2002-2009. This data was then compared to data from Finland and Sweden, who also have a register for neonaticide but have no such law for anonymous delivery. Currently neonaticide is only governed by a specific law, separately from infanticide, in a few European countries.

Results from the study showed a reduction of more than half in the reported incidence of neonaticide from the pre to post-law data, decreasing from 7.2 per 100,000 births prior to the passage of the law (1991-2001) to 3.1 per 100,000 births after the passage of the law (2002-2009). The data from Finland and Sweden showed no such change over the same time period.

Importantly, the researchers noted that during this time there were no other known socioeconomic changes in Austria that could have impacted on the observed rates, such as passage of abortion laws or changes to childbirth benefits.

The researchers also investigated other preventative measures such as 'baby hatches' and 'safe havens', which allow for the safe handover of a newborn to government authorities and have been used in Austria and other countries around the world (including the US, Germany, Japan, South Africa). They estimated that in Austria there are 2-3 cases of babies being left in baby hatches reported per year, whereas cases of anonymous birth are in the range of 30-40 cases per year.

Claudia Klier, Associate Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Medical University of Vienna and co-author of the study, said:

"Neonaticide is usually the result of an unwanted pregnancy, and a resulting denial of that pregnancy, so it is often hard to gauge as those who commit neonaticide tend to evade the healthcare system.

"The passage of the anonymous delivery law and the subsequently major reduction in reports of neonaticide during this study period indicate that this has been a very effective tool in the prevention of this crime in Austria.

"It is clear that more research into neonaticide and its associated factors is needed to accurately identify and implement long-term solutions. However, we want to raise awareness of this option for women as we know this is a hidden crime and there may be many more cases than previously thought."

John Thorp, BJOG Deputy-Editor-in-Chief added: "The results of this study are very compelling and highlight the benefits of anonymous birth. While preventative measures like baby hatches are good in theory, they still do not provide adequate support for the woman who is on her own not only during pregnancy but during the potentially dangerous delivery.

"It is therefore important to raise awareness of anonymous delivery as this approach could lead to a reduction in neonaticide rates."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. CM Klier, C Grylli, S Amon, C Fiala, G Weizmann-Henelius, SL Pruitt, H Putkonen. Is the introduction of anonymous delivery associated with a reduction of high neonaticide rates in Austria? A retrospective study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12099

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084327.htm>.
Wiley. (2012, December 5). Unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084327.htm
Wiley. "Unique 'anonymous delivery' law effective in decreasing rates of neonaticide in Austria, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205084327.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins