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.