I’m at the LifeCanada conference on PEI. All the talks have been interesting, but this struck me the most today.
If you think of amniocentesis, you will likely think of in utero genetic diagnosis of things like Down’s Syndrome, for example. To me it’s something negative, since such a high percentage of babies that aren’t “perfect,” are aborted after amniocentesis.
But today I learned that the doctor who pioneered this technique was Dr. William Liley, and he did so in order to help unborn babies live:
Liley began his research on Rh incompatibility in the early 1960s by becoming proficient in the technique of amniocentesis. He believed that testing the amniotic fluid was actually testing the fetus and its environment. Liley was sure that amniocentesis was the most accurate way to assess the course of the hemolytic disease in Rh-impaired fetuses. Repeated tests of the amniotic fluid, along with other with other measurements, indicated whether the condition was stationary or whether anemia was worsening, and if so, if doctors had to induce labor.
Sadly, he ended his own life when he saw how his technique was being used both for “search and destroy” missions and to inject saline in a saline abortion.
The public did not always respond well to the activist Liley, and the strain of his dual roles may have partly caused him to end his life on 15 June 1983, at age 54. At his funeral, officiated by both the Roman Catholic and the Anglican churches’ highest leaders in New Zealand, at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, Liley was recognized for his great contribution to saving the lives of the unborn sick with new techniques, while living his life to protect all potential new lives.
This info came courtesy of Dr. Walley of MaterCare.by