Drop Box for Unwanted Babies Saves Face
Two more babies have been left in the Stork's Cradle at Kumamoto's Jikei Hospital this month, bringing the total to 6 since the controversial program was instituted last May. For concerned doctors and nurses at the hospital, the "konotori no yurikago" (stork cradle) baby hatch has been an unqualified success. An official at Jikei Hospital was quoted by Japan's Kyodo News Service as saying "Maybe there are some people who are suspicious about it, but we should not pretend not to see them and let them die. Babies are innocent."
Jikei Hospital's baby hatch consists of a small door located in the hospital wall which, when opened, reveals an infant-sized incubated bed upon which a baby can be left. Several minutes after the door is closed, an alarm bell rings to alert hospital staff who see to the baby's needs.
Originally conceived in Germany, the Stork's Cradle provides a safe, anonymous place for mothers to leave unwanted newborns. "By installing the hatch, we want to rescue both parents and babies," continued the unnamed official. Some may consider the concept of a drop-off box for babies as being inhumane, but for desperate Japanese mothers who for whatever reason feel they cannot keep their child, the baby hatch has proven itself to be a life-saver. (via The Japan Times)