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Author Topic: This disturbed me  (Read 8970 times)

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Offline DemonessOfDeathValleyTopic starter

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This disturbed me
« on: January 08, 2014, 02:57:43 PM »
I read this article and it disturbed me.

If you read the article, it will say that there is a woman currently brain - dead and on life support. The reason her wishes of not being left on life support are not being observed is because she is pregnant.

I'm disturbed by this because her family are wanting her taken off life support despite the fact that she is pregnant. I'm not a supporter of abortion. And I'm also not a supporter of leaving some poor soul on life support for extended periods of time. My own mother was on partial life support at the end of her life. It's hard to watch a loved one go through that. My mother had not been declared brain dead. She had some kind of awareness because she could blink her eyes. The woman in the article is supposedly brain dead. Though the article states that there is some uncertainty of whether or not the woman has been declared brain - dead.

Here's where I am disturbed the most. If the life support is stopped, the fetus will die. According to the article the fetus is not yet able to live outside the womb. At this point in the gestation period of the fetus, the mother would be within the time where a legal abortion would be able to take place.

I'm not totally against abortion yet I'm not totally for it. I believe that abortion should not be used for birth control or just because someone doesn't want to raise a child. I believe that abortion should be a very last resort. Only if the pregnancy occurs due to violence or incest. And I believe that it should be only if the fetus is in its first weeks. These views are partly because of my Christian faith, but also because I believe that human life should be given every chance, despite it's beginnings. I also say that being a two time victim of sexual assault.

I'm not sure if this is a case of abortion or end of life decisions or both. I'm not even sure if it is really ethical. I'm conflicted on it. I don't know if I were in the same situation or if I were watching a loved one endure this, that I would want to totally defy the wishes of my loved one. I hope that I would want to preserve the fetus so that it had a chance at least. To me, the woman's pregnancy is a gift and for it to be ended would not be fair, if that's the right word.

Those are my views at the moment and I would be interested to know what others think about it.

Offline vtboy

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 04:09:00 PM »
"Brain dead" is dead. So, this poor woman is beyond "enduring" anything, no matter how her remains are treated.

Constitutional constraints on the power of the state to limit abortion are based on a right to privacy with respect to reproduction (though, I've always thought the issue should be viewed more as a one of personal autonomy than of privacy, but no matter). With the mother's death, however, her right to privacy also perishes and, therefore, can no longer provide a ground to compel the state to stay its hand in protecting the fetus, if it believes this appropriate. For similar reasons, I would expect the state cannot be required to respect the pre-mortem wishes of the deceased concerning continuation of treatment to sustain her internal organs. In short, if the state wants to turn the corpse into a fetal incubator, it can probably do it.

Whether the state should is another question. It seems to me the deceased's closest family members are likely to have the greatest emotional investment in the decision. For this reason, I would prefer to see it left to them. The ethical views of others who are not immediately involved  should have no bearing on the matter, especially if they are religiously based.   


« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 04:10:19 PM by vtboy »

Offline IStateYourName

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 04:32:48 PM »
Whether the state should is another question. It seems to me the deceased's closest family members are likely to have the greatest emotional investment in the decision. For this reason, I would prefer to see it left to them. The ethical views of others who are not immediately involved  should have no bearing on the matter, especially if they are religiously based.

+1.

It's none of our business.  It's none of the State's business.  Moreover, it's high time that the government stop treating us ALL like infants and let us specify, in advance, our own end-of-life/quality of life desires.

If I'm terminally ill and in constant pain, there's no reason at all I should not be permitted to choose euthanasia.  The only objections people can raise are religious--and we live under an explicitly secular legal system, so other peoples' religious beliefs should have no bearing on my end-of-life choices.

This woman's previously stated end-of-life wishes and "living will," if any, need to be respected, and considered first and foremost.  Then the wishes of her family, in consultation with their doctor.  Unless there's compelling evidence of foul play or other chicanery, the State should butt out.  Ditto for the anti-abortion movement (or the pro-choice movement, if the woman at some point in time made clear that in a circumstance like this, she would want to be kept alive to deliver the baby; I'm not playing favorites here).

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 04:37:05 PM »
I do wonder about the state of the fetus though. That is the only thing I worry about since the mother is brain dead. I don't know enough about how the heath of a body on life support and all that will effect the state of heath of the child she's carrying.

I hope, once the child is born/delivered, that the family will be granted the right of decision on the mother's fate afterwards.

Offline Torch

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 04:49:12 PM »
For similar reasons, I would expect the state cannot be required to respect the pre-mortem wishes of the deceased concerning continuation of treatment to sustain her internal organs. In short, if the state wants to turn the corpse into a fetal incubator, it can probably do it.

I would argue that the state cannot take this position any more than it could force a brain dead person to donate an organ or donate blood, plasma, or any other part of the human body against the wishes of the deceased or the next of kin.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 04:59:19 PM »
I would argue that the state cannot take this position any more than it could force a brain dead person to donate an organ or donate blood, plasma, or any other part of the human body against the wishes of the deceased or the next of kin.

Agreed, and this stance is compounded by the fact that the fetus is still within the constitutional age period permissible for abortion - meaning there isn't any sort of obligation to have the fetus survive legally.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2014, 05:14:05 PM »
I'm generally in agreement that this is a clear violation of the woman's wishes and rights. Seeing as the child is within the legal term limits to constitute abortion, it seems as though her express desire not to be kept on life support entails the end of potential for child-bearing. After all, technically someone kept on life support (but comatose/braindead/vegetative) could still be impregnated and in fact their have been cases where comatose patients subjected to rape have become so. Part of the mentality behind not being kept on life support (without reading too much into this particular woman's intentions) is that sense of finality, that no other suffering may be endured in/after death.

Childbirth is a painful and labor intensive process in the best of circumstance and seeing as how the birth of this child will necessarily require invasive surgery (another violation of her desire to be kept on life-support) and without the potential benefits of actual child rearing which is the whole purpose behind it, there seems to be no actual utility being derived from anyone involved in this whole mess.

Oh wait . . . the Hospital isn't doing this at cost, is it? Someone must be footing the bill for this woman to remain on life support . . .

Offline DemonessOfDeathValleyTopic starter

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 05:18:07 PM »
While I do base my decisions on abortion heavily on my chosen faith, I will sit that aside now.

My problem with this, is that even if the woman's wishes are that she is taken off of life support and the pregnancy is terminated, I do have a problem with the termination of a pregnancy. That fetus is a human life. I have a problem any time a human life is taken.

I do respect, even if I don't wholly agree with someone's end - of - life choice. My own experiences aside, I don't totally agree with someone who chooses euthanasia. But it's not my choice to make for them. If someone wants that and that's their choice, fine. But that person is an adult. That person lived long enough to be able to have the right to make that end - of - life choice. In this case, it's not just the person that is brain dead, though from the article that I read and provided, it's kind of vague if the woman is or has been declared brain dead, it's also the fetus. Is it ethical to terminate a life because of someone elses decision. I don't believe it is. No, I don't believe that the state should be making all of our medical decisions for us. But I also don't believe that human life should be taken so lightly.

Believe it or not, I am torn. Having had to make a decision for my mother when I myself had to sign a DNR for her. However, she had told me that I was not to sign that until there was no hope and in end, I was to put it into the hands of God, in accordance with her religious and end - of - life choices. But again, she was of sound mind when she made that choice, she also was not pregnant.

Taking someone off of life support that has been declared brain dead, is not usually something that I have a problem with. If there is no possibility of recovery and or they've been declared brain dead by all medical procedure, then yes, I believe that taking them off of life support is more merciful than letting them lie there for years basically just a shell. However, if the person is pregnant, I have an entirely different view.

I'm disturbed by the fact that a human life is even in question of being taken. I just can't agree with this woman being taken off of life support when it's not just her life that is in question.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2014, 05:18:18 PM »
Want to bet it will be the family?


Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2014, 05:33:23 PM »
Want to bet it will be the family?

Whether it's them or the State (and thereby the citizens of the great state of Texas), the hospital is the one who comes out on top (financially) in this situation. I'm not saying that some mustache twirling villain on the hospital's board of supervisors is up there rolling in the dough, but if a policy like this makes financial sense, you can bet that as a whole their will be hospitals who find a way to justify it (even if they're only subconsciously aware of the contradiction).

@DemonessofDeathValley
As someone who is morally opposed to abortion, but very much supportive of the right to choose one, I think I understand your confliction. You see, I think ethically, we're in agreement that the value of a human life lies in the potential for it to be good and do good things in life, thus a fetus has as much right to life as a new-born. However, the practical implications of such an absolute application of moral reasoning are . . . all the more controversial.

The reason I support the right for a woman to choose an abortion (or in this case, that her decision to be taken off life support supercedes the potential for the child's life) is the same reason I support Police Officers carrying firearms, fully aware that doing so will result in the deaths of innocents or why I support military endeavors abroad knowing full well that their is always collateral damage and civilian casualties. I support an absolute right for a woman to choose abortion in all cases because even in the broadest of interpretations the ethical ramifications will only ever be felt by the women and children involved. Conversely, if I support an absolute right to life based on the potential that life has for good, I can no longer justify preemptive military action, the actions an individual takes in self-defense, or the potential circumstances in which anyone might be killed. Ever.

For me, it's all about what's practical application of law and order in an imperfect world which at every turn necessitates at least some measure of 'evil' for survival.

Offline DemonessOfDeathValleyTopic starter

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 06:14:31 PM »
This has caused me to call a lot of things into question. I may be what my father used to call a 'bleeding heart'. But I just keep thinking of an innocent life being taken and seemingly not even taken into consideration. I don't know if my knowledge of the military or police policies is sufficient for me to comment on whether or not the taking of life in those situations is quite the same as taking one in this case.

To me, combat or policing the streets is different than a woman laying on life support. At this moment, for me to 100% support the removal of life support from this woman would take some kind of evidence that the fetus would not survive to term or that there would complications for the fetus. If the woman is brain dead, I hate to say it, but she is just an incubator. Her life is essentially over. But the life of her fetus, may not even be allowed the chance to live. I just can't get behind that. It doesn't feel right. Yet, it doesn't feel 100% right for the poor woman's family to watch her incubate a fetus and lay there dead. Nor does it seem right for her body to be subjected to an invasive procedure to deliver the fetus when or if it were to be brought to term.

That's why I'm so conflicted. I just don't know what's right in this case. I have my views on morality and my faith based beliefs but then again, some of the points here are very valid as well.

On the subject of abortion, I can't get 100% behind that either. In some extenuating circumstances, there are a few cases that I might see it as the appropriate decision. I don't think that there should be as many abortion clinics as there are. I also don't think that it should be a legal right to use it as a form of birth control. I believe that it should be a medical decision made based on need or necessity and only when allowing the pregnancy to go to term will be dangerous to mother, fetus or both. Or when mental stability in carrying the pregnancy to term could result in danger to either mother or fetus. There are a few other circumstances such as the pregnancy is the result of bodily harm or when the mother is mentally unable to understand what has happened to her and if the pregnancy is allowed to go to term it will result in some kind of physical or mental trauma to the mother.

I also believe in weighing all the possible benefits or consequences in making these kinds of decisions. I'm very, very conflicted right now and I'm wondering, am I conflicted because of morals, ethics, my faith or a combination.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 06:32:50 PM »
What you're expressing is the inherent conflict between moral and ethical ideals which are the result of your faith, experiences, and emotions, and the necessities of a less than ideal world in which the suffering of others and evil deeds are a necessity in and of themselves.

Think about it this way: That fetus might be an innocent, but if it's right to life is predicated on the fact that it will (with a little help) mature into a grown human being, don't we have to take into account the potential for good or ill that life might represent? Suppose the child grows up to be the next Jonas Stalk (cure Polio), making advancements to cure preventable diseases like cancer, does the good his life did now outweigh the circumstances his mother were put through in death?

Suppose he grows up to be the next Charles Manson, a serial murder perpetrating unprecedented horrors against his fellow human beings? Does that invalidate or taint the principle of right to life on which he was brought into this world?

My answer in both cases is a firm 'No'. The ends do not justify the means, good acts do not make up for past crimes, and evil results do not invalidate good intentions. In this case, this woman's right to dictate the end of her life and the tangible good that represents supersedes the potential goods that the life of the unborn child represents, because they cannot be quantified.

Offline Oniya

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 06:41:27 PM »
I noticed that the cause of the woman's condition was a blood clot in the lungs.  This means that her blood was unable to carry oxygen to her brain or other systems (including her reproductive system).  The lack of oxygen was enough to cause her to suffer severe brain damage, resulting in a coma at best, or brain death at the worst.

Now, the fetus is dependent on the maternal blood supply to get oxygen (suffused across the placenta).  If the maternal blood supply isn't oxygenated, the fetus is also oxygen-deprived for the same amount of time.  All things considered, that's not looking very promising for future results.

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 07:17:17 PM »
I noticed that the cause of the woman's condition was a blood clot in the lungs.  This means that her blood was unable to carry oxygen to her brain or other systems (including her reproductive system).  The lack of oxygen was enough to cause her to suffer severe brain damage, resulting in a coma at best, or brain death at the worst.

Now, the fetus is dependent on the maternal blood supply to get oxygen (suffused across the placenta).  If the maternal blood supply isn't oxygenated, the fetus is also oxygen-deprived for the same amount of time.  All things considered, that's not looking very promising for future results.

The article mentions that this has been going on for a month and the foetus is still alive.  If I remember long ago biology lessons correctly, the blood supply to the brain splits off earlier than to the rest of the body meaning a blood clot could quite easily shut off he brain and nowhere else.  But don't quote me on that - didn't pay a whole load of attention at the time and it was over a decade ago now.

Offline Oniya

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2014, 08:29:42 PM »
That split-off is after it gets back from the lungs, though.  If it had been in the brain's 'private supply', the report would have said something about a stroke (more than likely, because it would take a huge clot to block the carotid.)

Offline DemonessOfDeathValleyTopic starter

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 12:07:14 AM »
I'm not so sure that my problem is so much what good that the fetus might do. I think my real problem stems from terminating the pregnancy in general.

Chaoslord, I believe you're right, in me feeling the conflict between my morals, faith based beliefs, ethics and the law. Not to mention that I'm further torn in the question of whether end - of - life wishes supercede the right of a fetus to be given a chance.

I do have a further concern. The fetus could come out perfect, healthy and live a good long productive life. But then again, the mention of the problems of the mother being oxygen deprived therefore the fetus could (and probably has) sustained damage is another issue.

I did have a kind of 'break through' on my issue with adhering to the mother's wishes. If she had known she was pregnant, would she still want to be taken off of life support. While I wouldn't condone her decision nor would I think it was right I would respect that decision because it would go along with both end - of - life choices and the choices of what to do concerning a pregnancy. I think that's one of my main problems. It's not the mother that's making the decision for the fetus, its the family members and the state.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2014, 12:21:20 AM »
To me, combat or policing the streets is different than a woman laying on life support. At this moment, for me to 100% support the removal of life support from this woman would take some kind of evidence that the fetus would not survive to term or that there would complications for the fetus. If the woman is brain dead, I hate to say it, but she is just an incubator. Her life is essentially over. But the life of her fetus, may not even be allowed the chance to live. I just can't get behind that.

I understand what you are saying, because my personal/moral views are the same as yours.  I just figure that the moral views of many others are different than my own - which is fine.  Unfortunately, none of us have an empirical doctrine of what is right and wrong in life, and we all just have to come to judgements on these things as a whole.  This issue is a murky one, and I figure that if a situation like this arises which directly affects me, I would likely support the fetus here - but for situations involving other people, that is for them to project their own sense of morality.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 01:25:35 AM »
Much like Oniya said earlier, the mother was without oxygen for an extended period of time and the doctors do not know what effect that will have on the fetus. All they know is that, at the moment, there is a heart beat. What they cannot say is what damage has been (if any) done to the fetus. This fetus may be born with physical and mental handicaps that make it so that it will forever be dependent upon others for survival.

I am of the mind that the wishes of the woman, her husband and her family, be respected. Take her off life support. The husband already has one infant to take care of by himself - if they continue the incubation of the fetus to the point it can survive outside of the womb then he will have two infants, one which may be severely impaired, to raise by himself. Then there is the matter that they do not have closure right now. They know she is gone but there she is laying in a hospital bed hooked up to machines that keep her body functioning. If they refuse to go and see her corpse (yes, that is what it is now) then there will judgment against them for not caring. If they go and see her corpse then they are just prolonging their grief.

I do not see taking her off life support as an abortion. Just because we CAN keep a body functioning long enough to see a fetus to being able to survive outside the womb does not mean we SHOULD. In this it is well known and documented as to what the woman wished to be done should such an event ever occur - no life support. It should be respected if for no other reason than to let the family get the closure they need and allow them to grieve.

Addendum: The woman was 14 weeks pregnant when she died. If I remember correctly a fetus needs to reach a gestational age of 24 -26 weeks to be viable outside of the womb. Keep in mind that a fetus of gestational age of 24-26 weeks does not have fully developed organs (especially the lungs). Even a healthy ALIVE woman giving birth at that gestational age faces problems with the premature fetus. Learning disabilities, blindness, etc. That is assuming the infant survives after the birth. The chance of dying after the birth is elevated in preemies that young. Add in that the fetus could very well have neurological problems from being deprived oxygen and you have a situation that is not good for the fetus or the family.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 01:35:34 AM by Iniquitous Opheliac »

Offline vtboy

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 06:40:27 AM »
I would argue that the state cannot take this position any more than it could force a brain dead person to donate an organ or donate blood, plasma, or any other part of the human body against the wishes of the deceased or the next of kin.

Let's not confuse what the state "cannot" do with what it generally does not do. What law bars a state from seizing the organs of a corpse or compels the state to respect wishes its owner expressed in life?

Agreed, and this stance is compounded by the fact that the fetus is still within the constitutional age period permissible for abortion - meaning there isn't any sort of obligation to have the fetus survive legally.

There is also no obligation on the state to sustain the fetus after extra-utero viability. Though the state may prohibit or limit abortions after viability, it is under no compulsion to do so.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 06:52:02 AM »
My problem with this, is that even if the woman's wishes are that she is taken off of life support and the pregnancy is terminated, I do have a problem with the termination of a pregnancy. That fetus is a human life. I have a problem any time a human life is taken.

In the case of the mother, there is no life to take. She's braindead. It's all about the fetus now. Personally, I'm okay with abortion as a necessary procedure (and by that, I mean not as bloody birth control), and since there is no living mothers health to consider, the only justification for abortion here would be the health of the fetus. I really have no idea what effect this has had on it, but if it's displaying clear signs of deformity before it's legally recognized as alive, the pregnancy should be terminated and the mother taken off life support.

The problem here is terms like 'life' are hardly practical in complicated medical issues. When does a fetus become 'alive?'. Is a person with no brain functions 'alive?'. Even if we reworked the definition of life, people would never be comfortable with it.

Offline Oniya

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2014, 07:06:03 AM »
Let's not confuse what the state "cannot" do with what it generally does not do. What law bars a state from seizing the organs of a corpse or compels the state to respect wishes its owner expressed in life?

The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, when it was revised in 2006, abandoned the idea of presumed consent.

When a hospital refers an individual at or near death to a procurement organization,
Section 14(a) requires the procurement organization to conduct a reasonable search of the motor
vehicle records and of any donor registry it knows to exist for the geographical area in which that
individual resides to determine if that individual is a donor. The intent of this section is that a
procurement organization meets its statutory responsibilities if it searches only the records of the
state-managed or state-operated donor registry or donor registries, maintained by any
procurement organization. Because a donor registry is defined to include a database of gifts (see
Section 2(8)), not refusals, there is no requirement that a procurement organization search
databases comprised of refusals to donate. Furthermore, because a procurement organiz
ation is only required to act in “good faith” (see Section 18(a)), there is no reason for a procurement
organization to search databases which, in good faith, it believes is comprised of documents
which are not effective documents of gifts. However, if a valid refusal with respect to a
prospective donor was made known to the procurement organization, for example, by a
prospective donor’s family, that refusal must be respected.


( source (page 46))

Offline Torch

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2014, 07:12:00 AM »
What law bars a state from seizing the organs of a corpse or compels the state to respect wishes its owner expressed in life?

A corpse is technically considered "property" (for lack of a better term), property which belongs to the surviving spouse or other next of kin. My guess is state regulations regarding handling and disposition of a corpse would prevent any entity from procuring organs without permission of next of kin (insert your favorite black market organ joke here). The only example I could think of would be in the event of someone dying of a contagious disease such as bubonic plague, the state could theoretically take possession of a corpse in the interests of public health. Obviously that's not the case here.

The preference of the deceased concerning the disposition of his or her body is a right that should be strictly enforced.  If the decedents wishes are unknown, then the burden falls on next of kin, and courts will follow the wishes of the next of kin provided they are reasonable (reasonableness being a subjective term and one determined by the court). If someone wanted their dead spouse to be freeze dried and propped on the roof of the family home, I doubt that would be allowed.  ::)

Offline Andy

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 07:19:44 AM »
The problem here is terms like 'life' are hardly practical in complicated medical issues. When does a fetus become 'alive?'. Is a person with no brain functions 'alive?'. Even if we reworked the definition of life, people would never be comfortable with it.

Having read the main issue, and the various points and discussions from you guys, I'd like to throw in my own two cents on both the issue and the way this discussion has been going.

I'm a firm supporter of abortion, in the sense that it should -always- be an option where things like unwanted pregnancies or health-problems that could lead to a fatal birth/pregnancy are the cases. I'm against abortion for practical purposes, such as the child not having the right gender or hair colour and that kind of stuff.. The only real grey area for me concerning the topic is when it comes to wether the fetus is going to grow up with a mental birth defect. I know that might come off as monstrous or cold to some people but having been the little brother to a person with infantile autism and having to grow up with that pressure on you, i would not want to put my own children through the same experiences. Its a shit attitude to have but that's how i feel about that.

In the context of the case at hand though. The mother is braindead and the cause of her death might have caused severe complications in the fetus growth, yes it -might- have the potential to grow up and have a life, but all the odds are stacked against it to be honest. The main issue of discussion here seems to be centered around "When is a fetus alive/a child" and "When is a life worth saving".

I tend to take a practical stance on these kind of matters because experience shows that once a discussion comes to those two subjects in particular, I've never seen anyone come to a solution or answer that didn't leave someone angry or dissatisfied. And I'm going to be practical about this and take the context into consideration. The mother is dead and there is a very large chance the child will form with severe deformities or die shortly after birth. The argument that "It deserves a chance" can be made here but doing so would be to go against the mothers wish. The mother was alive when she wrote her will, going by what I've read in here, the child isn't yet developed enough to be able to survive outside the womb, and that's where i set the line in the sand of when a fetus is a human being. I think she should be taken off life support.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2014, 08:14:48 AM »
I've seen some very strong points made about whether the woman should be taken off life support. Having thought a lot about this yesterday, I came to two conclusions.

First, I'm opposed to her being taken off life support simply because it was her 'wish' in this case because, the article (if I read it correctly) did not say one thing about her being taken off of life support if she happened to be pregnant at the time. If that had been some kind of provision in her will or written wishes, I would not have as big of a problem. No, I would not support the choice. But I would respect it, as it was hers to make. I do think that it's callous that someone says 'It was her wish to be taken off of life support and we should do that just because it was her wish' and then seemingly not even thinking about the life (possible life) of the fetus. Had her will or wishes stated that 'even if I'm found to be pregnant, take me off of life support' that would be a different matter. Do I believe that the sate has the right to decide what happens with a woman's body(said woman because of the issue of abortion, but I don't believe the state should have the right to say what anybody does with their body, within reason that is)? No I don't. I believe that choice should be up to the individual.

Second, I'm opposed to most abortions with a few extenuating circumstances that I mentioned before. I do believe that if a child is so deformed and or will be so mentally handicapped that there won't be much quality of life, then yes, sometimes an abortion is more humane than a life of suffering. But in that case, where is the line drawn? When does it become a case of someone not wanting to 'deal with' a less than perfect child? I have two perspectives, one is that my grandmother had a still born. The child was severely deformed in the fact that it had a head significantly larger than the rest of its underdeveloped body. If that child had survived, it wouldn't have been long for the world nor would my grandparents have known any kind of joy. The child would have been severely mentally and physically handicapped and would have more than likely never been able to leave a hospital. They were not wealthy and so it would have taken everything they had and more to give the child any kind of comfort. All that child would have known was suffering. My grandmother always said that the child being still born (while it grieved her) was merciful. In a case like that, I do believe that an abortion would have been the appropriate thing to do. However, my own mother was advised by the first doctor she saw to have an abortion. He didn't want to deal with a possible at risk patient. My mother was over weight at the time. She went to another doctor and thirty - three years later, here I sit. My mother was twenty - six and lived to the age of fifty - seven.

The question of when is an abortion appropriate has been swirling around in my head. While I do believe that some severely mentally and physically handicapped fetuses should be aborted. I do not believe that every fetus just because there might be a mental defect should be. There are the high functioning mentally handicapped that lead more or less normal lives, needing little interaction or only a bit of help from a family member. There are mentally ill individuals that lead absolutely normal lives under the care of a doctor and the right medication therapy. So, I have to ask, where is the line drawn at mental or physical impairment being grounds for abortion?

There is one last question that I have. And this is one that I feel is most pertinent. Is there a way or a test that can be performed to find out if the fetus will have some kind of mental or physical handicap? Is there a way for the doctors to know pretty much for sure if the fetus could ever have a normal quality of life? It was deprived of oxygen and there was probably damage done. Possibly severe damage. So, I would like to know, is there a test?

Offline vtboy

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 09:29:45 AM »
The Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, when it was revised in 2006, abandoned the idea of presumed consent.


Like other uniform acts (e.g., the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act, etc.), the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act is a piece of suggested model legislation which any state may choose to enact or not to enact. The only external constraints on state action of which I am aware are those which are included in the Constitution. With the possible exceptions of the First Amendment's Free Exercise clause and the bar of the Fifth and Fourteenth against the taking of property without due process and just compensation, I can think of nothing in the Constitution which might arguably apply. And, I think the application of either would require a very strained reading.   

The preference of the deceased concerning the disposition of his or her body is a right that should be strictly enforced.  If the decedents wishes are unknown, then the burden falls on next of kin, and courts will follow the wishes of the next of kin provided they are reasonable (reasonableness being a subjective term and one determined by the court). If someone wanted their dead spouse to be freeze dried and propped on the roof of the family home, I doubt that would be allowed.  ::)

The question is whether the pre-death preferences of the deceased are a "right" which the state may not abrogate. If some pandemic popped up which crippled the hearts of, say, 25% of the nation's children, and cure were available only by transplant, I find it hard to believe states would not repeal laws requiring consent for post-mortem use of organs and enact others permitting seizure of healthy hearts of decedents. After all, the government can pluck up our living bodies and drop them in the middle of battlefields half way around the world. Tearing out pieces of our inanimate remains would seem the lesser intrusion.

With respect to freeze-dried, rooftop spouses, all I can say is thank god for zoning laws. Though some of the Christmas decorations I have seen are only marginally less offensive.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 09:32:08 AM by vtboy »