Baby's feel pain


I just learned that medical doctors believed baby’s didn’t feel pain, well into the 1980s. That means sedation suring surgery was not common. The seminal paper showing babies do infact experience pain (evidenced by spikes in stresshormones) was published in 1987. The year I was born! I find it astonishing to think about, it seems to utterly evident that all beings (well, perhaps not all) would experience pain. Nerves surely are present in babies? And then consider that in 1987 you could pass a study past the ethical committee, where half of a group of babies are sedated during heart surgery and the other half are not…

How did Douglas Adams say it? You experience the state of the world during childhood as if it always must have been that way. Later you understand it is of course very different, but wow, this is so messed up! Glad I was born not a moment sooner I guess.