Oldenburg Baby

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The Oldenburg Baby was the name given by German media to Tim, a child born with Down Syndrome at the Städtische Frauenklinik hospital in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany on 6 July 1997. Tim was born prematurely (in the twenty-fifth week of pregnancy) as the result of a failed late-term abortion procedure, which he survived despite not receiving medical attention for several hours after his unexpected live birth. He became a focus of the debate surrounding abortion, especially late-term abortion, and its legal and ethical consequences.


At some point after his birth, his temperature had dropped to 28°C, but as he was still breathing, doctors decided to treat him.

Medical consequences

The child's biological parents chose not to raise the child, so he remained in a children's clinic in Oldenburg until March 1998, when he was taken in by a foster family, the Guidos of nearby Cloppenburg. Due to the early termination of gestation, and the lack of medical attention thereafter, Tim is severely handicapped when compared with other Down Syndrome children of his age. His brain, eyes, and lungs were badly damaged; he exhibited autistic tendencies; and he underwent many operations in the first years of his life. After two weeks of dolphin therapy in 2003, he showed great improvement in fine motor skills, digestion, and speech. In 2004, Tim started attending a special school.

Legal and ethical consequences

The child's biological parents sued the clinic and the...
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