The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research conducts and disseminates research on topics connected to human life in its biological, social and ethical dimensions. These topics are selected for study depending on emerging medical, technological and social developments. In undertaking this work the Institute believes that a sense of the inherent value and dignity of human life and of the human person as an end and not a means is a foundational perspective to bring to bear on its work.

The Institute's research may be original or may consist of reviews of existing literature. In each case the Institute's work is to be of the highest academic quality, though accessible to the general public.

From the Director's Desk

Is the 'Abortion & VERY Preterm Birth Risk' Real?

If a woman has a surgical abortion, does she increase her future risk of a premature delivery or, more importantly, does she boost her later odds of a very preterm birth (under 33 weeks' gestation)?  Preterm newborn children have a higher risk of the 'MACE' disorders (Mental retardation, Autism, Cerebral palsy, Epilepsy) and other risks (blindness, deafness, lung injury, 'gut' problems, serious infections, etc.).

The average doctor can not be expected to keep track of the over 130 published studies of the abortion-preemie risk, but he/she can read abortion-preemie extensive review studies.  In the 21st century there have been three such studies.

May 21: Compassionate End of Life Care

On Thursday May 21st, 2009, the deVeber Institute will present an evening of talks and discussion entitled:

Compassionate End of Life Care
Support for families caring for a loved one

Speakers: Dr. Paul Zeni and Lenore McGuire
Time:       7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location:  520 Sherbourne St., Toronto Ontario

See poster for details.

Significant evidence linking abortion to preterm birth

A new German study, which analysed 1 065 202 pregnancies, revealed that

"Previous interruptions, miscarriages and IUFD are relevant risk factors for prematurity and are related with low birth weight of the new borns."

A missing factor in preterm birth?

The Canadian Institute for Health Information recently released a report "Too Early, Too Small:  A Profile of Small Babies Across Canada." 

Dr. L.L. deVeber M.D. FRCP(C) questioned:

"I wonder if the Canadian Institute for Health Information looked at the effect of previous induced abortions in their study, since it is well established by many reported studies that the incidence of very low birth weight babies is increased four-fold following induced abortion."

In fact, the report did not mention previous induced abortions.

However, a recent review by Deirdre J. Murphy, MD MRCOG, "Epidemiology and environmental factors in preterm labour," stated:

"Induced abortion has been associated with very preterm delivery (<33 weeks) in the French regional EPIPAGE study (OR 1.5, 95% CU 1.1-2.0)[27] and this was confirmed by the International EUROPOP study across ten European countries.  The strength of association increased with decreasing gestational age and was consistent across countries with varying rates of induced abortions."

See Murphy's full review attached to this post.

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On October 2, 2009, the deVeber Institute hosted a one-day conference

"Reproductive Decisions and Women's Well-Being"