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Police Find Corpses of 8 Newborns In French Home

By Mary Keshishian     Jul 29, 2010 in World
Paris - A French couple was in custody on Wednesday, after police found the dead bodies of 8 newborn babies in a village near North France.
The official said the detained couple, in their mid-40s, were the parents of the dead babies, and that the corpses were found on two different parts of their property in Villers-Au-Tertre, not far from the city of Lille.
The investigation is undergoing.
Disturbingly enough, France has seen a string of cases in recent years of mothers killing their newborns and saving and hiding the corpses.
In one case, last March, reported on Telegraph News, Celine Lesage was sentenced to 15 years in prison after acknowledging in court that she killed six of her newborns, whose corpses were found in plastic bags in her basement in northwest France. She had admitted to doing it but it was "hard to explain why".
Another Frenchwoman, reported on CBS News, Veronique Courjault, was convicted last year of murdering three of her newborn children. She was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Her husband discovered two of the corpses in a freezer while the two were living in South Korea. During the trial psychiatrists testified that she suffered from a psychological condition known as "pregnancy denial."
Germany also has seen similar cases. In one, a woman was convicted of manslaughter in 2006 and sentenced to the maximum 15 years in prison for killing eight of her newborn babies and burying them in flower pots and a fish tank in the garden of her parents' home near the German-Polish border.
Found on Med scape, this is what doctors and psychiatrists have said about 'pregnancy denial'.
Women who are in denial about pregnancy or who have concealed the pregnancy from others typically leave the hospital without having had any mental health screen other than for substance abuse, according to investigators at the American Psychiatric Association.
Of the women who denied or concealed pregnancy in the study, the largest proportion (36%) had pervasive denial of pregnancy, which is often caused by severe mental illness. Only a few had mental retardation or major depression, which are often characterized by pervasive denial. Others may have gotten pregnant as the result of rape, or the woman may have considered aborting or placing the baby for adoption, but without the screening, some of those data were lacking. Denial of pregnancy is a risk factor for infanticide; therefore, it is crucial that women in these circumstances get a psychiatric consult. Some have even ended up killing the babies.
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