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Author Topic: This disturbed me  (Read 8960 times)

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Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #100 on: January 10, 2014, 02:13:42 PM »
Since the woman is dead, her pre-mortem preferences don't matter, except to the extent the living want to respect them. The question, as I see it, is whether her pregnancy should permit the state to veto what we must otherwise assume would be the right of her husband (or other close family members) to insist the rest of this poor woman's organs die along with her brain. The proper balancing of interests is obviously different from that implicated by abortion, since the woman no longer has a cognizable interest in controlling her body (at least not one an ostensibly secular government may recognize). 

While the state may not prefer potential life over a woman's preference to terminate her pregnancy (at least during the first two trimesters), it may prefer potential life over the emotional suffering a decedent's family will endure if not permitted to honor what it understood were her wishes. However, there are other interests at play here, also significant, if perhaps somewhat more prosaic. The husband may not feel equipped, either emotionally or economically, to raise the child (a second one) alone, especially if there is a significant possibility it will be born profoundly disabled. The other family members may also be unwilling to take up the burden. There is already an abundance of unwanted children in the world. Medical services and hospital care are expensive, and often beyond the means of fully formed human beings who need them. Should they be employed to bring an apparently unwanted (and at this point speculative) child into the world? If the state demands preservation of the fetus in contravention of the wishes of the family, will it raise the child?

Though the issue is obviously complicated, the solution need not be. In the absence of a written directive from the deceased, the decision should be left to her closest family members. Here, they seem to be unanimous about pulling the plug.

It seems like we would otherwise be in agreement except that at the end their you concur with the majority decision by her family to pull the plug.

I would remind you that their is no definitive data regarding her actual status as alive or dead, and even if she is brain-dead, she is not considered legally dead until such time as she is taken off life support and doctor's make a physical confirmation that the woman in quest has in fact ceased to live (as Pumpkin Seeds pointed out).

Basically, I don't accept the belief that in the absence of a written will, the decisions should be left to the next-of-kin apparently in all circumstances. I don't see what claim family/spouses must necessarily have over mortal remains, let alone the technically living body of the woman in question. Aren't such notions founded in faith based traditions and customs and emotional reasoning? Why then should they take precedence over anyone else's equally intangible beliefs or traditions about what should be done?

Is there some compelling wholly rational moral imperative for the family to exercise sovereignty over Mrs. Munoz's body in this case?

Thus far, Oniya made the most compelling claim to my mind in this regard. Funerary practices playing an important part in the grieving process, which has certain tangible goods and ills which can be quantified. However, it seems to me to still be primarily rooted in certain belief systems which are not wholly supported in hard, secular reasoning.

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #101 on: January 10, 2014, 02:19:35 PM »
Is there scientific fact and reasoning which says why you should be allowed to choose a red shirt or blue? Or whether you eat pizza or salad?

There are some choices which are our right to choose for ourselves. This is one of them. Just because your beliefs don't coincide with someone else's shouldn't give you the right to decide what they and their loved ones should live by. Your beliefs are no more founded or reasonable than theirs. They are your opinion and are valid if it is your life in question. Your beliefs should not be forced upon a family which doesn't want them.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #102 on: January 10, 2014, 02:21:14 PM »
And ironically you ignored my posts about dragging out the grief of the family and denying them closure. Oniya said the same thing I did, she just put it into different terms and explained it better. So, what do you disagree with that I said? The fact that I do not Co side the fetus alive/a person. The fact that I do not believe a fetus has rights that should overrule the mother's?

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #103 on: January 10, 2014, 02:44:15 PM »
Is there scientific fact and reasoning which says why you should be allowed to choose a red shirt or blue? Or whether you eat pizza or salad?

There are some choices which are our right to choose for ourselves. This is one of them. Just because your beliefs don't coincide with someone else's shouldn't give you the right to decide what they and their loved ones should live by. Your beliefs are no more founded or reasonable than theirs. They are your opinion and are valid if it is your life in question. Your beliefs should not be forced upon a family which doesn't want them.

I don't agree with that. Even the most seemingly innocuous choices private to you and your person can have far reaching consequences which you may not even be aware of. Red shirt, blue shirt . . . what if the blue shirt was made by children in a sweatshop in haiti? Pizza or salad? What if the pizza is full of malignant preservatives, and the salad is contaminated with ecoli?

You give some pretty mundane examples there so I had to go to extremes albeit, but the point remains that whatever choice you make, whether you have an absolute right to make it or not, will inevitably have lasting consequences on others. You're saying that no one groups beliefs or opinions have any more weight than anyone else's and I agree. So, all unfounded beliefs being equal, shouldn't the fetus's potential for life outweigh any and all other opinions about what the daughter might have wished or family's opinion on the matter is?

And ironically you ignored my posts about dragging out the grief of the family and denying them closure. Oniya said the same thing I did, she just put it into different terms and explained it better. So, what do you disagree with that I said? The fact that I do not Co side the fetus alive/a person. The fact that I do not believe a fetus has rights that should overrule the mother's?

It's because Oniya put them into practical, tangible terms that I responded to hers and not your own, it made more sense to continue the engagement between her and my post to me (at the time) than to try and beat you over the head with stuff I'd already said and you'd already disagreed with. As you said, Oniya explained it better, so I used her explanation as a permutation of what I can only assume you yourself would have explained.

Furthermore, I think Retribution's points regarding what constitutes life in a biological sense illustrate the somewhat arbitrary nature of the line in the sand you have drawn in regards to the fetus as a 'life', especially given that you are critical of the hospital (or anyone else) drawing a similar line arbitrarily.

All that said, the point at which the fetus is or is not "alive" is not a factor for me. Will kill things which are more tangibly alive than fetuses all the time so I appeal to the basis on which killing any other living thing is considered immoral or wrong: That in prematurely ending life, you rob that individual of the potential to accomplish good in their life.

Seeing as how the potential for the fetus to live (and do good things) exists in this situation, at no cost of suffering or harm to the mother who would otherwise be afforded the absolute sovereignty over her own body to terminate the pregnancy, I feel that it would be morally wrong for anyone else to prematurely end that potential without knowing the mother's express feelings on the matter (especially since she previously professed a desire to carry the child to term in addition to her desire not to be on life support).

Offline IStateYourName

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #104 on: January 10, 2014, 03:00:39 PM »
I don't agree with that. Even the most seemingly innocuous choices private to you and your person can have far reaching consequences which you may not even be aware of. Red shirt, blue shirt . . . what if the blue shirt was made by children in a sweatshop in haiti? Pizza or salad? What if the pizza is full of malignant preservatives, and the salad is contaminated with ecoli?  You give some pretty mundane examples there so I had to go to extremes albeit, but the point remains that whatever choice you make, whether you have an absolute right to make it or not, will inevitably have lasting consequences on others.

And what about that cheeseburger you are potentially clogging your arteries?  Should we create a Bureau of Cheeseburger Control to implant a microchip that shocks you whenever you have more than one cheeseburger in a two-week period?  And that video game you're playing--does it have violence?  Let's take that away, lest you decide to go shoot up a movie theater. 

When you start going off on the tangents you went off on, we can pretty much "justify" any violation of individual rights and liberty on the pretest of some maybe hypothetical third or fourth-order consequence.  Heck, we should outlaw you from turning on a fan unless you can prove it won't disturb atmospheric circulation patterns and cause a typhoon off the coast of Indonesia two years hence.

As someone else intimated a little ways back, the door of obscure possible hypotheticals swings both ways.  What if the baby comes to term and grows up to be a serial killer?  Or some jag-off who sits on his couch all day long smoking weed, and the secondhand smoke from his marijuana cigarette drifts outside, and causes a driver to sneeze, lose control of her car, and it crashes and then a fireman rushing to the scene gets into an accident with another car which careens into an alley and kills a homeless woman who would have given birth to a man who, 19 years hence, saved the life of a scientist who later found a cure for cancer?

How far do you want to take this?

I think we should focus on the situation at hand and not veer off on what-ifs.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #105 on: January 10, 2014, 03:03:22 PM »
So, all unfounded beliefs being equal, shouldn't the fetus's potential for life outweigh any and all other opinions about what the daughter might have wished or family's opinion on the matter is?


No. Because the fetus is not a person (alive in my book) and thus does not have rights. Without being a person with rights, the mother's desire to not remain on life support wins out.


Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #106 on: January 10, 2014, 03:07:11 PM »
Basically chaos you are saying that a thing that has never breathed or lived has more rights than a woman who has followed all legal measures for her rights. Why should a fetus that isn't viable to survive on it's own be considered more of a person than someone who lived and breathed and followed the law and hell, was a paramedic and probably saved lives. Why is this fetus due more rights than her?

Offline vtboy

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #107 on: January 10, 2014, 03:12:55 PM »
It seems like we would otherwise be in agreement except that at the end their you concur with the majority decision by her family to pull the plug.

I would remind you that their is no definitive data regarding her actual status as alive or dead, and even if she is brain-dead, she is not considered legally dead until such time as she is taken off life support and doctor's make a physical confirmation that the woman in quest has in fact ceased to live (as Pumpkin Seeds pointed out).

Basically, I don't accept the belief that in the absence of a written will, the decisions should be left to the next-of-kin apparently in all circumstances. I don't see what claim family/spouses must necessarily have over mortal remains, let alone the technically living body of the woman in question. Aren't such notions founded in faith based traditions and customs and emotional reasoning? Why then should they take precedence over anyone else's equally intangible beliefs or traditions about what should be done?

Is there some compelling wholly rational moral imperative for the family to exercise sovereignty over Mrs. Munoz's body in this case?

Thus far, Oniya made the most compelling claim to my mind in this regard. Funerary practices playing an important part in the grieving process, which has certain tangible goods and ills which can be quantified. However, it seems to me to still be primarily rooted in certain belief systems which are not wholly supported in hard, secular reasoning.

The article describes Ms. Munoz as brain-dead, and I assume for the purposes of this discussion all applicable tests will confirm this.

My views on this have nothing to do with funerary practices or non-secular belief systems, per se. Rather, they reflect the practical realities that: (i) it will be this woman's husband or other next of kin who likely bear the burden of raising this child; (ii) either they or third parties will be saddled with the expense of maintaining the corpse until delivery; (iii) scarce medical resources may be better devoted to the care of the already born; and (iv) experience teaches that state intervention in end-of-life and beginning-of-life decisions is frequently based on anything but secular principles (especially in places like Texas). Death rites and religious beliefs enter into this for me only to the extent I believe that the sensibilities of the bereaved should be accommodated, whether or not rooted in tradition or religion, where other factors do not outweigh them.

Since the next of kin appear to have the greatest interest -- emotionally and economically -- in deciding whether this fetus should be brought to term and how their loved one's remains should be treated, I think the decision should be left to them.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 03:17:01 PM by vtboy »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #108 on: January 10, 2014, 03:35:42 PM »
And what about that cheeseburger you are potentially clogging your arteries?  Should we create a Bureau of Cheeseburger Control to implant a microchip that shocks you whenever you have more than one cheeseburger in a two-week period?  And that video game you're playing--does it have violence?  Let's take that away, lest you decide to go shoot up a movie theater. 

When you start going off on the tangents you went off on, we can pretty much "justify" any violation of individual rights and liberty on the pretest of some maybe hypothetical third or fourth-order consequence.  Heck, we should outlaw you from turning on a fan unless you can prove it won't disturb atmospheric circulation patterns and cause a typhoon off the coast of Indonesia two years hence.

As someone else intimated a little ways back, the door of obscure possible hypotheticals swings both ways.  What if the baby comes to term and grows up to be a serial killer?  Or some jag-off who sits on his couch all day long smoking weed, and the secondhand smoke from his marijuana cigarette drifts outside, and causes a driver to sneeze, lose control of her car, and it crashes and then a fireman rushing to the scene gets into an accident with another car which careens into an alley and kills a homeless woman who would have given birth to a man who, 19 years hence, saved the life of a scientist who later found a cure for cancer?

How far do you want to take this?

I think we should focus on the situation at hand and not veer off on what-ifs.

Seeing as the person who brought up "obscure possible hypotheticals" was me, allow me to explain that I'm not saying we have to control for all possible negative consequences, just illustrate the reason why we do not always, in all cases allow people to exercise individual rights to whatever ends they see fit. Sometimes people really don't know what's best for them, and that's why government exists and persists.

In this case, what is most tangible and immediate is that if taken off life support, the fetus will most certain be as dead as the mother, whereas if we wait a few months one of them may wind up being very much alive. So, worst case scenario, two people die and the family grieves anyway; best case scenario is a baby is born and the family still grieves.

No. Because the fetus is not a person (alive in my book) and thus does not have rights. Without being a person with rights, the mother's desire to not remain on life support wins out.

Right but the point is that's just your opinion since you're choosing to reject a scientific basis for the definition of life, it's only "in your book". You're defining life in a way that I don't feel particularly obliged to accept, and so if I offer my own definition of what life is and don't offer a reasonable basis, then neither of our beliefs about life carries any more weight than the other.

However, neither of us can deny that in another two months or so that fetus will be definitively alive, which I feel means that it takes precedence over your, my, or the family's opinion's in this manner.

Basically chaos you are saying that a thing that has never breathed or lived has more rights than a woman who has followed all legal measures for her rights. Why should a fetus that isn't viable to survive on it's own be considered more of a person than someone who lived and breathed and followed the law and hell, was a paramedic and probably saved lives. Why is this fetus due more rights than her?
Because it's not the mother's rights that are in question. If she were to by some miracle, wake up tomorrow, demand an abortion and chastise us for not taking her off life support, I would politely apologize for the inconvenience of having to carry the fetus any longer than necessary and direct her to the nearest clinic.

The issue is whether or not the next-of-kin have the right to terminate the fetus via taking Mrs. Munoz off life-support. I mean, your basis for the fetus not having any rights is that it can't survive on it's own. The woman in this case is as dependent on the machines as the fetus is on her, so by your argument, how can she have any more rights than the fetus? Do those rights carry over from when she was alive? On what basis?

The article describes Ms. Munoz as brain-dead, and I assume for the purposes of this discussion all applicable tests will confirm this.

My views on this have nothing to do with funerary practices or non-secular belief systems, per se. Rather, they reflect the practical realities that: (i) it will be this woman's husband or other next of kin who likely bear the burden of raising this child; (ii) either they or third parties will be saddled with the expense of maintaining the corpse until delivery; (iii) scarce medical resources may be better devoted to the care of the already born; and (iv) experience teaches that state intervention in end-of-life and beginning-of-life decisions is frequently based on anything but secular principles (especially in places like Texas). Death rites and religious beliefs enter into this for me only to the extent I believe that the sensibilities of the bereaved should be accommodated, whether or not rooted in tradition or religion, where other factors do not outweigh them.

Since the next of kin appear to have the greatest interest -- emotionally and economically -- in deciding whether this fetus should be brought to term and how their loved one's remains should be treated, I think the decision should be left to them.

The article states that her parents belief that their daughter is brain dead, there has been no formal declaration by medical professionals to that effect at the bequest of the husband, Mr. Munoz (as is his right). For the sake of argument though, I believe assuming she is brain-dead serves as a best grounds for debate so I accept your starting premise.

Allow me to deal with your following points in order:
I) That is not a given; There are institutions in place for the rearing of this child through foster care or adoption. "What is likely" to occur in the child's rearing or how effective those institutions might be is open to speculation and without relevance to this debate.
II) Pumpkin Seeds already illustrated that it is unlikely the family is being financially burdened in this case, and seeing as how that was my foremost concern initially I will refer you to her posts in that regard, here.
III) A fair point to make, but seeing as how the resources are already in use to this endeavor and will be put to good use in the future, it's difficult to say that the cost of reallocating the resources is worth the potential life of the fetus.
IV) I've already acceded that I would be in favor of the repeal of the state law which lead to this situation, however seeing as how the case has already developed to this point I see no reason to terminate the pregnancy at this time based on what might should have been done in the first place (especially in the absence of a living will).

As I see it, the investment of the next of kin is either wholly emotional or only indirectly quantifiable economically, in which case I do not believe the temporary extension of their inconvenience and bereavement (during which period the fetus may very well expire anyway) outweighs the equally intangible potential for life, economic and emotional goods that the fetus has. Alternatively, if we are to take a strictly objective approach and deal with this in purely tangible and secular terms, then the family has no more claim to the mortal remains of the body than anyone and if it really came down to it the state could exercise a sort of temporary eminent domain on behalf of the unborn fetus.

Offline IStateYourName

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #109 on: January 10, 2014, 04:14:05 PM »
Seeing as the person who brought up "obscure possible hypotheticals" was me, allow me to explain that I'm not saying we have to control for all possible negative consequences, just illustrate the reason why we do not always, in all cases allow people to exercise individual rights to whatever ends they see fit. Sometimes people really don't know what's best for them, and that's why government exists and persists.

In this case, what is most tangible and immediate is that if taken off life support, the fetus will most certain be as dead as the mother, whereas if we wait a few months one of them may wind up being very much alive. So, worst case scenario, two people die and the family grieves anyway; best case scenario is a baby is born and the family still grieves.

May wind up being very much alive.

You can't prove it.  So it's a what-if.  What if the baby is born profoundly disabled?  We can what-if this as far as the day is long, but to what end?  It's none of our business.  That's the part of this you don't seem to grasp.  Just because you think someone ought to live their life a certain way, gives you no right to force them to do so.  Even if you find a buddy with a lot of men with guns (the State) to enforce your will, that still doesn't give you the moral right.

What gives the State the right to decide this woman must birth her baby?  No one, and nothing, except force of arms.  And what's next?  We identify a child with a disability, and decide it's not in society's long-term interest for it to continue to live?  Sure, Mom and Dad love him, but...sometimes, people really don't know what's best for them.  Right?  That's why government exists and persists...to safeguard the future of the race.  And the woman who is part of an underground organization spreading subversion...well, she really ought to be sterilized.  Sure, she's sincere, but...sometimes people really don't know what's best for them.  She's misguided.  The State in its wisdom knows better.

Your line of reasoning--giving the State the power to intervene in people's most intimate, personal decisions--is a very slippery slope.  Be careful what you wish for.

EDIT: I'm not saying you would subscribe to the eugenicist ideology I outlined in the third paragraph.  I'm pointing out there are valid reasons for very strictly limiting the power of the State and putting a KEEP OUT sign over our private lives.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 04:20:05 PM by IStateYourName »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #110 on: January 10, 2014, 04:26:39 PM »
May wind up being very much alive.

You can't prove it.  So it's a what-if.  What if the baby is born profoundly disabled?  We can what-if this as far as the day is long, but to what end?  It's none of our business.  That's the part of this you don't seem to grasp.  Just because you think someone ought to live their life a certain way, gives you no right to force them to do so.  Even if you find a buddy with a lot of men with guns (the State) to enforce your will, that still doesn't give you the moral right.

What gives the State the right to decide this woman must birth her baby?  No one, and nothing, except force of arms.  And what's next?  We identify a child with a disability, and decide it's not in society's long-term interest for it to continue to live?  Sure, Mom and Dad love him, but...sometimes, people really don't know what's best for them.  Right?  That's why government exists and persists...to safeguard the future of the race.  And the woman who is part of an underground organization spreading subversion...well, she really ought to be sterilized.  Sure, she's sincere, but...sometimes people really don't know what's best for them.  She's misguided.  The State in its wisdom knows better.

Your line of reasoning--giving the State the power to intervene in people's most intimate, personal decisions--is a very slippery slope.  Be careful what you wish for.
You're attempts to construe my arguments as a slippery slope resulting in a tyrannical police state which intervenes freely in the most intimate details of it's citizens lives is as much an exercise in tangential speculation as my previous thought experiment regarding the indirect consequences of any given action or the good or ill the fetus's potential for life might come to.

As the opposition, could you illuminate when it is you believe the state has the right to intervene in what would otherwise be the private affairs of an individual? That way I can attempt to show you why I believe this is indeed one of those cases or else what I think is wrong with your assertion.

Where you are most definitely right is that having the government on my side (to be clear, I'm not actually in favor of the law itself) doesn't give me the moral right. Ethical reasoning and philosophy on which we can all agree is the means by which I am attempting to derive the moral 'rightness' in this case.

In this case, I assert a mother's right to an abortion as morally right by virtue of her inalienable right to exercise absolute sovereignty over her body. Seeing as how we cannot clearly establish her wish to exercise that right in this case (there being no living will and contradictory statements as to her feelings on life-support vs intent to raise the child) I do not believe that her family can make the decision to terminate the fetus via taking her off life support as that would also constitute a violation of her corporeal sovereignty.

Put simply, no one can tell this woman she can or can't have an abortion and since we can't ask her whether or not she wants to abort the fetus, it's best to let the matter play itself out over the next couple months and see if someone winds up alive.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #111 on: January 10, 2014, 04:39:39 PM »

Right but the point is that's just your opinion since you're choosing to reject a scientific basis for the definition of life, it's only "in your book". You're defining life in a way that I don't feel particularly obliged to accept, and so if I offer my own definition of what life is and don't offer a reasonable basis, then neither of our beliefs about life carries any more weight than the other.

Ok, let's try this. We'll remove the word "alive".

The fetus is not a person and thus does not have legally protected rights. The deceased mother was a person with legally protected rights. The father IS a person with legally protected rights. As are the in-laws. It was clear and well known to the husband and parents what this woman wanted should the unimaginable happened and she ended up in a situation where machines were all that would keep her organs beating. She even specified to them that the stipulation was "if there was no chance of recovery". Pretty damn clear. Also happens to be what my Advance Directives state. I am pretty damn sure that no brain activity means you turn those machines off and all you are going to hear is a couple of "beep beep" on the heart monitor and then one long continual one that is just one more confirmation that this woman is dead. The only thing keeping the heart beating is the machines. And the only reason they keep the heart beating is because this hospital has decided to play god. In the natural course of things, as horrible as it is, the fetus would have died with the mother. Again, a tragedy, but it happens every day.

Now, if you want to argue that your moral compass outweighs everyone else's and that the family should be denied the right (and their need to move to the next stage of grief), then let's go back and, yet again, look at what the father wants here. He obviously does not want the child. For whatever reason, he is quite willing to let this fetus pass on and bury it with his wife (and in this sentence, before someone tries to scream contradiction - there is a heartbeat, but no way to know if it is the machines keeping it beating, much like it is keeping the mother's heart beating). So, by your reasoning that this fetus MAY be born and MAY do good in it's life (assuming that it is not the next John Wayne Gayce of course), the father should be forced to accept it. What about his rights? This non-person who has NO rights whatsoever overrules a breathing adult with legally protected rights? And again, before you bring up adoption - there are thousands upon thousands of children still waiting to be adopted, and if this fetus is born with severe problems the chance of it being adopted drop even further so that it is more likely that the taxpayers will be the one supporting this child for the duration of it's life.

And IStateYourName has it right. It is not the state's business, the hospital's business, your business or anyone else's business what I do with my body. Should I die (and brain death is death) then I am to be disposed of according to my Advanced Directives and Will. It would not matter if I was pregnant or not (not that this would happen with me anymore).

As for what Pumpkin posted about how it works with life saving treatments - I've worked nursing homes. I've seen DNR's in action. I've seen people with wills that state "no life saving machines if no chance of recovery." My grandmother was one that had that stipulation. She had a stroke, she was on a ventilator. The EEG showed irreparable damage and that there was no brain activity. The hospital followed her directives and turned the machines off. I've also seen families overrule DNR's and doctors ignore the DNR just because the family demanded it. The point is - it can be worded in such a way that if all tests show no chance of recovery then all machines are stopped. Done. Finished. Which is what I am assuming Mrs. Munoz and her husband expected - after all, she made it clear what her stipulation was and the only way to verify that there is no chance of recovery is to .... you got it... start CPR and get her to the hospital.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #112 on: January 10, 2014, 04:58:20 PM »
Ok, let's try this. We'll remove the word "alive".

The fetus is not a person and thus does not have legally protected rights. The deceased mother was a person with legally protected rights. The father IS a person with legally protected rights. As are the in-laws. It was clear and well known to the husband and parents what this woman wanted should the unimaginable happened and she ended up in a situation where machines were all that would keep her organs beating. She even specified to them that the stipulation was "if there was no chance of recovery". Pretty damn clear. Also happens to be what my Advance Directives state. I am pretty damn sure that no brain activity means you turn those machines off and all you are going to hear is a couple of "beep beep" on the heart monitor and then one long continual one that is just one more confirmation that this woman is dead. The only thing keeping the heart beating is the machines. And the only reason they keep the heart beating is because this hospital has decided to play god. In the natural course of things, as horrible as it is, the fetus would have died with the mother. Again, a tragedy, but it happens every day.

Now, if you want to argue that your moral compass outweighs everyone else's and that the family should be denied the right (and their need to move to the next stage of grief), then let's go back and, yet again, look at what the father wants here. He obviously does not want the child. For whatever reason, he is quite willing to let this fetus pass on and bury it with his wife (and in this sentence, before someone tries to scream contradiction - there is a heartbeat, but no way to know if it is the machines keeping it beating, much like it is keeping the mother's heart beating). So, by your reasoning that this fetus MAY be born and MAY do good in it's life (assuming that it is not the next John Wayne Gayce of course), the father should be forced to accept it. What about his rights? This non-person who has NO rights whatsoever overrules a breathing adult with legally protected rights? And again, before you bring up adoption - there are thousands upon thousands of children still waiting to be adopted, and if this fetus is born with severe problems the chance of it being adopted drop even further so that it is more likely that the taxpayers will be the one supporting this child for the duration of it's life.

And IStateYourName has it right. It is not the state's business, the hospital's business, your business or anyone else's business what I do with my body. Should I die (and brain death is death) then I am to be disposed of according to my Advanced Directives and Will. It would not matter if I was pregnant or not (not that this would happen with me anymore).

As for what Pumpkin posted about how it works with life saving treatments - I've worked nursing homes. I've seen DNR's in action. I've seen people with wills that state "no life saving machines if no chance of recovery." My grandmother was one that had that stipulation. She had a stroke, she was on a ventilator. The EEG showed irreparable damage and that there was no brain activity. The hospital followed her directives and turned the machines off. I've also seen families overrule DNR's and doctors ignore the DNR just because the family demanded it. The point is - it can be worded in such a way that if all tests show no chance of recovery then all machines are stopped. Done. Finished. Which is what I am assuming Mrs. Munoz and her husband expected - after all, she made it clear what her stipulation was and the only way to verify that there is no chance of recovery is to .... you got it... start CPR and get her to the hospital.

I appreciate your consolation of the use of the word alive.

However, I must remind you that their is no definitive proof that Mrs. Munoz is brain-dead, that she in fact wanted to be disconnected from life support, or that she would still wish to be done so in the case of pregnancy. She did not have a written, notarized will or Advanced Directives. All we have to go on is the hearsay from the husband and parents (who are undoubtedly emotionally invested and may have a conflict of interests) and from another friend who claims to have known about the pregnancy and that Mrs. Munoz expressed a desire to carry the child to term. There is no written will, no clearly stipulated Advanced Directives signed by Mrs. Munoz (and notarized), stating in no uncertain terms that if she were pregnant, and on life support, that both she and child should be terminated.

If there were, I would definitively be on her side, and support the overturning of Texas State Law.

Just because she's taken off life support doesn't mean she'll die right away. Pumpkin Seeds explained that it is necessary to affirm death via a stethoscope for various reasons, but let's say you're right and she is effectively dead for the sake of argument. If you're argument is that we should let nature take it's course and let the fetus die with the mother as they would naturally, then I can extend that to allowing anyone to die without the use of any sort of artificial support or medication, which I'm sure is not the argument you mean to make.

The father has every right to forgo caring for the child, but he does not have the right to determine, in lieu of his wife's status as brain dead, to terminate her pregnancy, via taking her off life support. That would be as much a violation of her rights to do with her body as she sees fit as would forcing her not to have an abortion. In this case, the hospital isn't 'forcing' anything, except that everyone "butt-out" of what is purely between the brain-dead Mrs. Munoz, and her unborn fetus, and just postpone their bereavement while we let whatever might otherwise happen, happen.

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #113 on: January 10, 2014, 05:04:35 PM »
I appreciate your consolation of the use of the word alive.

Just because she's taken off life support doesn't mean she'll die right away. Pumpkin Seeds explained that it is necessary to affirm death via a stethoscope for various reasons, but let's say you're right and she is effectively dead for the sake of argument. If you're argument is that we should let nature take it's course and let the fetus die with the mother as they would naturally, then I can extend that to allowing anyone to die without the use of any sort of artificial support or medication, which I'm sure is not the argument you mean to make.

Actually yes. Anyone has the right to choose not to take medicine to save/extend their life. It is not something that can be forced on anyone. So given that this woman has extended the wish that her life not be extended by machines, just like a cancer patient can refuse chemo and/or radiation, it is not anyone else's place to choose for her.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #114 on: January 10, 2014, 05:07:26 PM »
So why is everyone in agreement that she has the right to choose, but everyone is so quick to take away the choice she had to give birth to this child ?

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #115 on: January 10, 2014, 05:09:26 PM »
Because her husband knew her wishes better than any one of us, and he is sure this is what she wanted. And her parents also are sure this is what she wanted.

So who are we, a bunch of strangers, to say they are all wrong and that we in fact know better than them what this woman, someone we do not know and have never met, would have wanted.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #116 on: January 10, 2014, 05:18:26 PM »
The husband also says she wanted to have the child.  So, he gets to pick which one is more important even though she can have both?  He gets to make this decision while suffering the trauma of a sudden loss in his family and potentially a second loss? 

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #117 on: January 10, 2014, 05:20:21 PM »
Yes because it is HIS wife and HIS unborn fetus and he is the only one who legally has the right to make decisions for his wife if she becomes unable.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #118 on: January 10, 2014, 05:21:33 PM »
Yes because it is HIS wife and HIS unborn fetus and he is the only one who legally has the right to make decisions for his wife if she becomes unable.
Except he doesn't. If she were alive, Mr. Munoz wouldn't have the right to say she had to have an abortion. Why should he have that right now that she's dead?

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #119 on: January 10, 2014, 05:22:54 PM »
Once again, THIS IS NOT AN ABORTION.

You insist we refer to the fetus as alive, so I must insist you stop referring to a natural death as an abortion.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #120 on: January 10, 2014, 05:23:48 PM »
So if a woman is unable to make her own medical decision, her husband is allowed to decide if she can have a baby even if at the time she was able the woman stated clearly that she wanted to have the baby ?

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #121 on: January 10, 2014, 05:27:03 PM »
If a woman says she would like to have a baby, but then suddenly something medically happens and circumstances change, and having the baby is POSSIBLY a possibility, but she had direct wishes against the methods which would allow it to happen, then yes.

The fact is they do not even know yet if the fetus will be able to survive or be born, they are simply forcing a waiting game.

But all this may be for a fetus that can NOT be carried to term. They do not yet know if the fetus is viable and will live or not outside of the womb. And in the meantime, they are directly going against what this woman made known was her wish in these circumstances.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #122 on: January 10, 2014, 05:30:29 PM »
A fetus, at any point in pregnancy, may not be carried to term for any number of reasons.  Miscarriages are a common occurrence.  The woman made her wishes known to have this child.  So whether the child may or may not be capable of making it to term is of no concern to that decision.  She wanted to carry the child to term, if capable.  As of yet she may still be capable of doing so.  Removing life support will make that wish impossible, whereas attempting to carry the baby through to birth will allow for both her wishes. 

The question then is why does one usurp the other if both can be done ?

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #123 on: January 10, 2014, 05:34:51 PM »
Both can't be done. By remaining on life support when she has no chance of recovery you are forcing her into exactly what she DID not want.

And her husband and parents are all in agreement that she would have wished this.

Why is your opinion more important than hers or theirs?

Anyways I feel like this is now going in circles, so I am going to step out of the discussion. Thank you to everyone who debated it with me. I'm not stepping out due to disagreements or anything so please no one think this is personal. I just feel that I've covered every angle I could in my opinion and repeating myself isn't going to do anything except be repetitive. So since I have nothing new to offer, this is a good time to remove myself from the discussion.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #124 on: January 10, 2014, 05:36:55 PM »
Once again, THIS IS NOT AN ABORTION.

You insist we refer to the fetus as alive, so I must insist you stop referring to a natural death as an abortion.
How is it not an abortion? Because in a state of nature the fetus would have died to? Does that mean that babies not born naturally (delivered via c-section) are not technically 'alive'? I think Macbeth might disagree with you.

The mother is already on life-support and has received some of the most advanced medical care known to man so it's no good appealing to what would otherwise have happened naturally. None of this is natural, and their are perfectly 'natural' means of inducing abortion anyway.
If a woman says she would like to have a baby, but then suddenly something medically happens and circumstances change, and having the baby is POSSIBLY a possibility, but she had direct wishes against the methods which would allow it to happen, then yes.

The fact is they do not even know yet if the fetus will be able to survive or be born, they are simply forcing a waiting game.

But all this may be for a fetus that can NOT be carried to term. They do not yet know if the fetus is viable and will live or not outside of the womb. And in the meantime, they are directly going against what this woman made known was her wish in these circumstances.
So in essence, it's the next-of-kin who are trying to force the issue and terminate one or both lives now, and the hospital who is saying, "Hey, why don't we just take a step back, and see if this doesn't shake down to everyone's satisfaction anyway, either in a miscarriage, or with a perfectly healthy baby being delivered?"

I just don't see the (tangible) harm in letting the parents and husband stew for a couple months when there are plenty of parents of soldiers and disaster victims who go their whole lives never knowing. Either the child will die, prove nonviable, or be proven to be healthy over the course of the next few months and no matter which way it works out Mr. Munoz and the Machados (her parents) still get a corpse out of the deal.