A Rome hospital that reintroduced a modern version of the medieval foundling wheel, following a spate of abandoned babies, has had its first "deposit".
The device allows women to leave their new-born children in hospital instead of abandoning them in telephone boxes or on doorsteps or, in an extreme case, killing them.
The original wheels were a cylindrical hatch set in the outside wall of a church. Mothers would place their baby in the hatch, close it and then ring a bell to warn the priest or nuns.
The system has been brought up to date with a heated soft bed complete with sensors and cameras to alert staff when a baby has been abandoned.
The wheel, installed at the Policlinico Casilino last year, was used for the first time late on Saturday night, when a three-month-old boy was left there.
The 14lb boy was named Stefano after the doctor who first treated him.
Monday, February 26, 2007
The Return of the 'Foundling Wheel'
From the Telegraph: