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Author Topic: This disturbed me  (Read 8940 times)

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Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #150 on: January 11, 2014, 10:34:16 PM »
But there is no violation of her rights.  She's dead.  She has no rights.  The next of kin has no rights over the body until its released to him (think of, say, an autopsy).  And even then their rights are severely constrained.  People have talked in terms of "property" but that's not quite accurate.  The state (I use in the sense of nation/government rather than explicitly a US state) makes many many rules regarding what can be done with a corpse making it clear its not strictly property.  Compare and contrast with my table, which I can ignore, leave to rot, give away, have sex with, eat, etc.  None of which I can do with the corpse of my next of kin.

At the end of the day, though, I don't really see the issue:  She didn't want to be kept alive on machines...she's not.  She's dead.

That seems to be a recurring flaw in the opposing camps arguments. You can't assert that the she is effectively dead by virtue of being brain dead, and then assert that the fetus also does not have rights when it might very well have brain function.

I want to reiterate, State Law being injust is not so much the issue here (especially since the law is written to contravene a living will which Mrs. Munoz does not have), as it is that this particular case, I think, very poignantly touches on the nebulous nature of life/death when dealing with unborn fetuses and patients on life support. The right for Mrs. Munoz to have an abortion is also not a factor, since we don't know one way or another if she would want to have one, and given present law no other party can maker her have one or not have one. If she is disconnected from life support by her family, the pregnancy is terminated, quite possibly against what would be Mrs. Munoz wishes and a violation of her rights. Whereas if we wait for another few months, yes the family's wishes will be contravened, but we're only allowing the pregnancy to take what would otherwise be a natural course (which may very well result in a miscarriage anyway, allowing her to be taken of life support anyway).

If you look only at the potential outcomes to the situation, you can either A) keep the patient on life support and grant the fetus the potential to be carried to term (in accordance with her wishes) or you can B) terminate her life support immediately (also in accordance with her wishes) and make sure they're both dead. In both cases, at least one set of Mrs. Munoz's wishes are being contravened and the family will be able to bury a body, but only in scenario 'A' is there also the potential for new life to be born.

So if 'A' accomplishes all of the same things 'B' does and also creates more potential for good, why on earth shouldn't we prefer it?

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #151 on: January 11, 2014, 11:12:27 PM »
Because the fetus is not a person and thus has no rights. None. Nada. Zilch. It is not recognized as a person and there is no law to protect the rights of non persons.

So, it is the wishes of the now deceased mother that is being trampled on. And again, I am repeating this ad nauseum since it seems people overlook it, Texas doesn't give a flying fugger if Marlise had had a living will. It still would have ignored it.

And again, it no longer matters that Marlise wanted a second child because she is dead and thus cannot raise a second child. It is now the husband who is being forced to accept what the hospital is doing since he has made it clear he does not want this fetus. Which is why he has obtained a lawyer. Which I think the best thing because I do not see the hospital swallowing the costs of this nor do I see the state willingly paying to raise this fetus should it survive and the husband says "nope. Don't want it."

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #152 on: January 11, 2014, 11:25:38 PM »
Terminally ill women give birth to children that they know will be left in the care of family, relatives, husbands, etc.  Nobody is able to tell them, well you won't be alive to be the child's mother so you have to abort the child.  So I see no reason to trample over her rights to have the child based on this argument. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #153 on: January 11, 2014, 11:33:18 PM »
What it all really comes back to is that it shouldn't be up to any group of strangers, miles away from the situation and unaware of the individual dynamics, to make this decision.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #154 on: January 12, 2014, 01:49:07 AM »
Terminally ill women give birth to children that they know will be left in the care of family, relatives, husbands, etc.  Nobody is able to tell them, well you won't be alive to be the child's mother so you have to abort the child.  So I see no reason to trample over her rights to have the child based on this argument.

Again, this is NOT an abortion. It is the natural consequence of the woman dying. Period. And since the family has made it clear that this is NOT what they want, then it should be respected and the machines turned off.

I do not know how many times it has been stated that this is not an abortion. Nor can I see why there is such a hard push for the fetus to be delivered when it has been made more than clear that those that would be responsible for the fetus do not want it.

Oh, and for the record, only ONE state (Pennsylvania) actually has it set in place as to who pays for keeping a pregnant woman on life support till the fetus can be taken. (Pennsylvania at least has decided that it will pay for the unconsented use of a woman's body). Every other state that has this asinine law doesn't make it clear who will pay the rather exorbitant medical fees. Nor do they bother to put it in any of the legal paperwork that a pregnant woman will be denied her own wishes should the unthinkable happen and she die while pregnant.

The simple fact of this matter is the state of Texas has turned Marlise Munoz into an easy bake oven and ignored not only what was her last wishes (to not be kept on life support machines after there is no chance of recovery) but the wishes of her next of kin and family. They have decided to force the issue and force the family into accepting something they do not want. They have repeatedly said that Marlise would not have wanted her body used in this fashion.

It is sickening. It dehumanizes pregnancy and it is an absolute denial of a woman's personhood.

*editted for correction*
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 02:31:51 AM by Iniquitous Opheliac »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #155 on: January 12, 2014, 03:27:59 AM »
The family's desires regarding the birth of the child are not important though.  Once again only the mother can decide if she wants to keep the child, which she has done.  And you can cry THIS IS NOT ABORTION every time someone says the word abort, but the simple fact is turning off the life support system will abort the fetus.  So the simple matter is why is her desire to give birth to the child null and void because of her condition when it wouldn't be null and void under other, similar circumstances.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #156 on: January 12, 2014, 03:56:00 AM »
The family's desires regarding the birth of the child are not important though.

Yes they are.

Tell me this, say I moved into a house, and I had paid off a little bit of the mortgage so far. I clearly desire to keep the house. Then I die. Does my desire to keep that house mean that my next of kin be forced to pay the rest of my mortgage?


Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #157 on: January 12, 2014, 07:30:14 AM »
Yes they are.

Tell me this, say I moved into a house, and I had paid off a little bit of the mortgage so far. I clearly desire to keep the house. Then I die. Does my desire to keep that house mean that my next of kin be forced to pay the rest of my mortgage?

Errr, the debt is inherited, yes.  The mortgage lender will seek to reclaim the balance from the estate and, if they can't, the debt is inherited.  Generally people will sell the house, but if they don't then yes - whoever gets the house is responsible for the mortgage. 

That debt doesn't simply go away.  It can be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #158 on: January 12, 2014, 07:42:25 AM »
I wasn't aware it was forced on someone else like that, but my question stands. Is it right to do that? Forget the legality a second and put yourself in the situation. Your family member has died and suddenly someone is like "Hey, sorry about your loss, by the way, you owe us 600,000 dollars"

The difference between the home and the child is the home is something that can be sold or dealt with. The child is not. It is a person who will require an investment of 18 years from someone. The debts are not comparable.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 07:55:36 AM by Sabby »

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #159 on: January 12, 2014, 07:55:50 AM »
Well, the child can be given up for adoption or, if Texas has Safe Haven laws, simply left at the hospital.

I think it is right.  Consider the alternative - that that debt dies with you.  There are going to be a lot more people defaulting on their mortgages, albeit accidentally.  Banks will be substantially more out of pocket than they are now.  Either mortgage rates will go through the roof as they try to recoup those losses are, more likely, they will simply stop offering them.  Look at it from the bank's perspective.  They have lent someone a huge sum of money.  They do that because they want it back with interest.  Anything that makes it less likely they will get it back with interest makes them less likely to lend that money in the first place - they're under no obligation to do so.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #160 on: January 12, 2014, 08:01:26 AM »
Perhaps the analogy was not the best. I should probably make an effort to know what I'm talking about before drawing comparisons between two situations Dx

To try and restate myself, regardless of what happens to the child if it survives, it is still an 18 year investment on someones part. Pressing that debt onto the next of kin to either deal with or pass off wouldn't be so bad, but the problem is the debt doesn't exist yet. Why force them to wait until they incur that debt, then make them pay it?

To try and use the home owner analogy (hopefully better this time), I see this as forcing them to pay for a home that isn't built yet, and they have made it clear they don't want it. They're going to make them stand around and wait for the house to be finished, against their wishes, with the high probability it will be broken, then give them the bill.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 08:13:50 AM by Sabby »

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #161 on: January 12, 2014, 08:03:26 AM »
Speaking as someone who has suffered brain damage from oxygen deprivation - something that has cost me jobs, sanity, and measurable IQ - there is very little that the child will get out of the life it has unless they can verify somehow that the child itself isn't going to born brain damaged to the point of horror.

And the people who are supposed to take care of that child will either put it up for adoption or have to live with the guilty horror of the torment that that child will suffer through every day of it's life as a result of being born so (which they may still have to live with if they do give it over to adoption). 

That's the real problem here, in my eyes.  If it is going to be born healthy, that is good and wonderful, and I am all for that.  But the chances of that are terrifyingly slim.  And while I may be functional, relatively stable, and very intelligent....I am very much aware of what I lost and how much more I could have been.  And wishing something worse than that on a child is something I personally could never do.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #162 on: January 12, 2014, 08:05:07 AM »
That's the real problem here, in my eyes.  If it is going to be born healthy, that is good and wonderful, and I am all for that.  But the chances of that are terrifyingly slim.  And while I may be functional, relatively stable, and very intelligent....I am very much aware of what I lost and how much more I could have been.  And wishing something worse than that on a child is something I personally could never do.

This.

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #163 on: January 12, 2014, 08:12:46 AM »
But the people of Texas, as expressed by legislation passed by their elected representatives, disagree.  It's possible to frame the argument as religious fundamentalists, sure, but its also to frame it as the will of the people.  While it may be a vaguely optimistic view, the way it should work is that the elected representatives who were voted in by a majority of Texas residents share the values of those residents.  I'd wager, in fact, that it does.  The law has sat comfortably on the books for twenty five years.  Oniya and PumpkinSeeds' comments about it being the best way to handle it notwithstanding, it is the way the majority of the people of Texas want it handling.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #164 on: January 12, 2014, 08:14:42 AM »
Edited my previous post, hopefully it's clearer now.

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #165 on: January 12, 2014, 08:20:14 AM »
Clearer, but still not applicable.

Contracts have been signed with builders who are relying on that work.  You can't simply say "Wait, change of plan."  That's what penalty clauses are for.  Honestly, I'd step away from the home analogy, I can't think of a way to get it to work.

And someone has to pay for the child to be raised, sure, but as I say its not necessarily the family.  The state wants this child born, the state will also pay for it to be raised through putting it into care.  It's not the outcome I personally would like but I assure you the chances of me moving to Texas, becoming a registered voter and seeking to change that are precisely zero.  That's what Texas has said it wants - births to happen with the correspondingly higher chance of having to fund the care of the kid through public money.  I can complain as much as I want but decisions are made by those who show up and I have no intention of showing up.

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #166 on: January 12, 2014, 08:27:26 AM »
Hmmm, I think I need a 48 hour ban on analogies :/ I am not using them correctly tonight. Apologies. I'll merely state my opinion and opt out of the discussion for now.

The kinder thing to do is allow the undeveloped fetus to pass with the mother. It is not a person yet, and the chances of it living a good life are just too slim.

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #167 on: January 12, 2014, 08:33:58 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I agree with you.  The issues as I see them though are:

Either she's dead in which case her wish to be kept alive on machines has no bearing here, or she's alive and this is then an abortion - I assume there's some mechanism for who can give consent to an abortion in Texas when the mother lacks mental capacity to do so.  Hospital Ethics board?  Next of kin?  I dunno.  Not important.  From that, under the current regime, it seems the child will be born.

The people of Texas have essentially said that they are willing to pay for the raising of a child in these circumstances - I checked and they do have a Safe Haven law, it was in fact the first state to have one.  It's not down to us to decide if the child has a "good life" or not, it's down to the child.

So while I agree with you that, were I writing the law for Kythiopia, that situation would be handled differently, I didn't write the law for Texas.  The people of Texas did.

Offline Serephino

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #168 on: January 12, 2014, 09:03:14 AM »
Yes, this woman wished to have a second child.  But that was when she was alive.  She wished to be a mother.  She may have wished to take up jogging and/or painting for all we know.  There were probably many things she wished while alive.  So, should it be discovered she really wanted to play tennis, should machines be used to do that with her body?  It's what she wanted...  If what her wishes were when she was alive matter more than her end of life wishes, shouldn't the state and the hospital make sure all of them are carried out?

The answer is an easy no, because when you die, all your hopes, dreams, and wishes for life go poof.  I'm pretty sure she wished to live a little longer and die of old age, but a blood clot saw to it that wasn't going to happen either.  I don't think anyone will disagree that it's sad, but the family wants the fetus to die with its mother.  Her end of life wishes are all that matter now because she's dead.  In no other case does a wish someone had while alive trump their end of life wishes once they're dead.  Why should this be any different?

Offline elone

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #169 on: January 12, 2014, 09:19:37 AM »
http://news.discovery.com/human/life/can-brain-dead-woman-give-birth-to-healthy-baby-140110.htm

Quote from this article, interesting coming from Texas Medical School Ethics professor


For Jeffrey Spike, a professor of clinical ethics at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School who was involved in the case of a brain-dead pregnant woman in the 1990s, so many unknowns mean it's critical to involve the family in the decision-making.

"There's such a long period to have to keep her stable at very high risk that there's no way I would ever say this is ethically obligatory for anybody," Spike said. "It's perfectly likely that after weeks of being very unstable, they can see she's [in distress], and then decide to do a C-section in the middle of the night in the ICU, and then you have to do a C-section of a woman who's been dead for weeks, and it's a nightmare scenario. It's a huge risk."

Even in the case of the baby of a brain-dead mother who was born alive (according to the family's wishes) and discharged healthy after six weeks in the NICU, Spike says that to decide on the basis of viability alone is wrong.

"I think that the woman's preferences should be respected to the degree they can be known," he said. "Even if she wanted to be pregnant, that doesn't mean she wanted to have a child who would never know her, and she could never love and raise as her own. Allowing a fetal death while inside the womb might be the most peaceful, natural, and ethically appropriate outcome in such tragic circumstances."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 09:22:19 AM by elone »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #170 on: January 12, 2014, 10:05:58 AM »
So thus far I am reading that it is ok for someone to abort a woman’s fetus if the child has a risk of damage.  If the child would possibly be placed for adoption.  If the child would endanger or kill the mother during child birth.  Honestly sounds like Texas is doing more for women’s rights than any of these arguments. 

Offline Sabby

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #171 on: January 12, 2014, 10:30:12 AM »
Pumpkin, please point out one post where anyone has said 'abort babies that will likely end up in adoption, because that's a bother', or 'abort babies that might be sick, because that's a shame'.

This fetus has suffered a lack of oxygen. The chances of it developing severe disability are incredibly high. It has no willing carers. The chances of it ending up in state care are incredibly high.

This is not vaguely justified purity control.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 10:40:48 AM by Sabby »

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #172 on: January 12, 2014, 11:24:57 AM »
So thus far I am reading that it is ok for someone to abort a woman’s fetus if the child has a risk of damage.  If the child would possibly be placed for adoption.  If the child would endanger or kill the mother during child birth.  Honestly sounds like Texas is doing more for women’s rights than any of these arguments.

The woman is brain dead.  The only right she had, the right to refuse treatment which she requested, is being refused her because of the fetus, who does have rights according to Texas.  The problem is that legally, the people who are direct blood relatives of the woman have to be consulted with regards to said fetus since they are either required to undertake guardianship or give up guardianship to the state.  What's worse is that because the woman (whose rights are being violated by allowing her to remain on life support) is not stable because she is brain dead and pregnant the fetus in question may not survive the pregnancy at all, and if it does, the chances of the child being brain damaged - or even brain dead - are incredibly high. 

What happens if the child is born catatonic?  Who takes responsibility then?  What kind of responsibility CAN be taken?  That's the question that has people really worried.  That particular problem is impossible to answer without some way of finding out the fetus' mental state which we simply haven't the technology for at this time. 

I expressed my opinion on the quality of the child's mind affecting the quality of his life as an opinion, which I formed from personal experience.  Given the choice between a permanent vegetative state - a distinct possibility for this child-to-be - and death, I expressed which I would choose. 

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #173 on: January 12, 2014, 11:33:08 AM »
Ok let me put it this way since you seem to be arguing for arguments sake Pumpkin.

No one WANTS this fetus. Period. It is unwanted, unloved and will be a burden on someone. Either the state or the family that has made it clear they do not want it.

It is IMMORAL to use a woman's body as an easy bake oven just because some people have this idea that their beliefs should trump everyone else's.

Now, if you are quite content to be reduced to nothing more than a walking, talking set of ovaries and a uterus - hey fine. Go live in Texas, or one of the other states that thinks this is perfectly ok. But for the rest of us women, we rather prefer being reasoning women respected for more than what we can shove out of our vaginas.

And that is what this boils down to. A catholic (why am I not surprised it is catholic) hospital is turning a woman into a breeding machine because it believes it's values are more important than the last wishes of a woman.

And before you start the same old argument that is on loop - she is dead. The desire to have a second child died with her. She can no more "have" a second child than she can rise from the dead and be proclaimed the savior. She can BIRTH a second child. Two totally different things there. And in this case, she can birth a second child that no one, read those two words again, NO ONE, wants.

So, by your reasoning, it is perfectly okay to bring a child into the world that stands a high chance of being damaged beyond the point of being able to live a normal life and that no one wants. A child that will, in effect, cost someone (either the family that wants no part of it or the Texas taxpayers) untold amounts of money either till it dies or reaches the age of maturity.

There is a reason there is a separation of church and state. This would be one of those reasons.

Your morals. They do not belong in my vagina or my end of life choices.

(Oh and for the record... debt is not inherited in the states. It is illegal to pass a debt incurred by someone else onto their next of kin who did not legally sign for the debt. If a house has money owed onto it, the bank reclaims the home and sells it again unless the person the house was left to is willing to legally take on the debt. It is not just pushed onto them.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 11:50:27 AM by Iniquitous Opheliac »

Offline Kythia

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2014, 12:00:12 PM »
(Oh and for the record... debt is not inherited in the states. It is illegal to pass a debt incurred by someone else onto their next of kin who did not legally sign for the debt. If a house has money owed onto it, the bank reclaims the home and sells it again unless the person the house was left to is willing to legally take on the debt. It is not just pushed onto them.)

I realise it's a side issue,  but you're mistaken here.  From here

Quote
As such, mortgages are not forgiven when a borrower passes away. They passes (sic) on to the deceased's estate.
 

It then goes on to say effectively what I said - pay the balance from the estate or sell the house.  If the house is in negative equity you're screwed.  The issue is that you're not inheriting a debt, per se, you're inheriting an object which has a debt attached to it.

But meh.  Lord alone knows why I'm devoting such time to a side issue.