Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Media 2008-06-04 Fetus Grasping Surgeon Image Stir


04 June 2008. Wednesday.


Peter Kavanagh, DLP Member for Western Victoria, ignited indignation this morning when he sent an email to other Members showing a picture of a fetus reaching out to grasp a surgeon’s finger.

The picture was taken after the surgeon had successfully operated, saving the life of the fetus.

A copy of the email with the photo attached follows:

"Subject: A telling image
For your information, find attached a telling image."

The image sent to the other Members can be viewed on the following link:
Caution: The picture "A Telling Image" relates to surgery, not suitable for children.

Mr Kavanagh received angry responses from some other MPs - some assuming, at first glance, that the image was of an abortion.

"I would not send pictures of an abortion, mainly because I suspect that such images could be counter-productive. The image I sent actually follows a miraculous, healing operation," Mr Kavanagh said.

I suspect some were actually offended because the image makes it clear that human life does not suddenly begin at birth," Mr Kavanagh said.

A copy of Mr Kavanagh’s email response follows:

"Dear Members,

Following the sending of an image by me this morning, some Members have expressed offence on the assumption that the picture shows an abortion. The image does not show an abortion. It shows a scene following wondrous, life saving surgery on a fetus. The picture was taken at the end of the operation and shows the fetus grasping the surgeon's finger.

I am not upset by the image of one person, however young, touching another's hand.

The image has been published in newspapers around the world, including "USA Today" and was the basis of an episode of the TV series "House". Of course, the newspapers did not include "warnings".

The baby in the picture, Sam Armas, is now a happy, healthy boy ( I can send further images taken throughout his life, including others of him before birth, if anyone would like them).

Peter Kavanagh"

For further comment please contact Mr Kavanagh on 03 5222 1503.

The image at the centre of this press release can be viewed on the following link:
Caution: The picture "A Telling Image" relates to surgery, not suitable for children.


Peter Kavanagh MLC
Member for Western Victoria
Parliament of Victoria

"La Cabine"
2nd Floor
1 Yarra Street
Geelong VIC 3220

Ph: 03 5222 1503
Fax: 03 5222 8677


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