HC Deb 23 March 1993 vol 221 c576W
Mrs. Wise

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will outline the definition of stillbirth used by(a) the World Health Organisation and (b) other major developed countries.

Mr. Sackville

The World Health Organisation does not suggest a definition of stillbirth, but does define fetal death, which would include stillbirths. This and further information about statistical data can be found in the WHO publication "International Statistics Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Volume 1, 1992." A copy is available in the Library.

Copies of relevant pages from a publication by the Institut de Demographie—"Are Live and Stillbirths Comparable All Over Europe?," Working Paper 170, University of Louvain, January 1993—are also in the Library. Copies of the working paper are being obtained and one will be placed in the Library. This extract gives the legal criteria for registration of Stillbirths in European countries at 1 January 1991. The entry for England and Wales show the age of gestation as 28 weeks. This was reduced to 24 weeks by the Stillbirth (Definition) Act 1992 which took effect on 1 October 1992.

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