A half-kilo fetus delivered in its mother's 22nd week of pregnancy because Assaf Harofe Medical Center doctors said it had no heartbeat was declared dead on Wednesday evening, but when the father came to take it for burial, it began to move and show other signs of life. The baby is now stable in the neonatal intensive care unit.
It was the third such case in an Israeli hospital in the last 14 months; the others were at Western Galilee Government Hospital in Nahariya and the Italian Hospital in Nazareth; both incidents involved Arab families. In each case, the baby was born prematurely and declared dead. A 22-week-old fetus is usually considered too small and premature to survive.
The family claimed the mother heard the fetus cry after it was born, but that the obstretrics staff told her it was dead. The "body" was put on a table in the delivery room for five hours and then taken to the refrigerated morgue. But on its way to burial, the baby moved in the box. The parents then asked to transfer the baby to another hospital.
The Tzrifin hospital reported the unusual case to the Health Ministry and also launched its own investigation.