Oldenburg baby

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Tim (born July 6, 1997 in Oldenburg ; † January 4, 2019 in Quakenbrück ) became known as the Oldenburg baby , who was diagnosed with Down's syndrome (trisomy 21) in the 25th week of pregnancy . His mother then had a late abortion carried out by initiating the birth early. Tim unexpectedly survived the birth, although he did not receive medical care until several hours later. It has become a symbol in the late abortion debate and its legal and ethical consequences.

Diagnosis and intervention

Tim's mother was 33 years old and at the end of the sixth month of her pregnancy when she learned of her unborn child's syndrome on July 6, 1997. She then demanded an abortion and threatened suicide if the operation was refused . According to the regulations on medical indication , a medical expert determined a risk to the mother's life or physical and mental health, which allows termination of pregnancy even after the third month of pregnancy. A few hours after Down syndrome was diagnosed, the birth began.

In 1997, it was not yet common for fetuses to be aborted at the limit of viability or beyond with a potassium chloride injection before labor was induced . It was assumed that the fetuses would not survive birth. However, after induction of labor with prostaglandin , Tim was born alive under the supervision of an assistant doctor in the gynecological-obstetric department with a weight of 690 g and a height of 32 cm.

Since the goal of the procedure was the death of the fetus, the premature baby received no medical care for around ten hours. It was only when it became clear that the boy was not going to die that he received medical help. At this point, his body temperature is said to have dropped to 28 ° C.


Since the birth parents did not accept the boy, the boy remained in the care of the Oldenburg Children's Clinic until March 1998 and was then placed with a family by the youth welfare office as a foster child .

In contrast to the majority of mature children with Down syndrome, Tim was severely disabled . The abortion and the lack of medical care after the premature birth severely damaged his brain, eyes and lungs. Several operations were required and the boy developed autistic traits .

After two weeks of dolphin therapy in 2003, he showed significant progress in motor skills , improvements in food intake and the use of spoken language . From 2004 Tim attended a special school with a focus on intellectual development .

The child's birth parents filed suit on damages and pain and suffering against the maternity hospital and the attending physician and stated that they were not informed about the possibility that the child could survive the termination of pregnancy at this stage of pregnancy. The clinic denied this allegation. The Bundestag member Hubert Hüppe ( CDU ) filed a criminal complaint on the grounds that it was necessary to check whether there was any indication for the termination, and independently of this, pointed out the medical treatment obligation, which in this case was not carried out for several hours, which, among other things, against I have violated Article 3 of the Basic Law (“Nobody may be disadvantaged because of their disability ”).

The assistant doctor who terminated the pregnancy and did not receive medical care for the child received a penalty warrant for bodily harm .

Tim's birth mother went to psychotherapeutic treatment after the failed abortion .

In 2005, the WDR broadcast Menschen hautnah broadcast a report about Tim's life; Shortly after filming the show, the birth mother died at the age of 41. The biological father formally held parts of the custody, which he did not exercise.

On January 4, 2019, Tim died of a lung infection.

See also


  • Simone Guido, Bernhard Guido, Kathrin Schadt: Tim lives! How a boy who shouldn't exist opened our eyes. Asslar 2015, ISBN 9783863340384 .
  • Sabine Schicke: Fought into life with irrepressible strength. Tim survived an attempted abortion and celebrates his 18th birthday on July 6th. In: Nordwest-Zeitung 153/2015, July 4, 2015, p. 13.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Tim died at the age of 21. In: kath.net . January 7, 2019, accessed January 7, 2019 .
  2. Gabriele Schulte: "Oldenburg Baby" Tim died at the age of 21. In: lvz.de . January 8, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019 .
  3. Silvia Dahlkamp: Late abortion: The gift of a life. In: Spiegel Online . March 25, 2010, accessed January 9, 2019 .
  4. Markus Krischer: The survivor. In: Focus Online . July 5, 2004, retrieved January 9, 2019 (on the circumstances of the child's birth).
  5. Gisela Kiliman, Udo Kiliman: He should die, but Tim lives. ( YouTube video, 44:21 minutes) In: People up close . March 16, 2005, accessed January 9, 2019 .
  6. "Oldenburg Baby" dies at the age of 21. In: ndr.de . January 8, 2019, accessed January 9, 2019 .