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Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

The Petition of Emma and Alexander Pheby (parents of Xanthe Pheby, stillborn on 4 April 2007),

Declares that every one in two hundred pregnancies in the United Kingdom end in stillbirth (around 3,600 children a year) and yet in over half of these cases a cause for the baby’s death is not established. There is currently very little funding for research into unexplained stillbirth;

Notes that in the 1980s important research was carried out into sudden infant death syndrome (otherwise known as SIDS or cot death) which in turn led in 1991 to a public health campaign and the numbers of cot deaths were dramatically cut;

Further declares that it is time for the United Kingdom Government to fund additional epidemiological studies and new scientific research to identify risk factors, causes and prevention strategies for unexplained stillbirths so that the country’s high rates can be reduced.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government of the United Kingdom to put more resources into research in this area.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr. Charles Clarke .]