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Author Topic: This disturbed me  (Read 8937 times)

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Online Oniya

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #50 on: January 09, 2014, 04:15:13 PM »
All that said, I have to wonder if in this situation there's any particular 'harm'. Who is suffering because this woman is being artificially kept alive?

I'm not sure if you've ever had someone close to you die, so please forgive a little extra explanation.  It's compounded when death is sudden, but even with a lingering illness, there is a period where you don't fully accept that the person is dead.  You might find yourself thinking of calling them, or sharing something with them, or expecting them to be somewhere.  It's called denial, and it's the first of the recognized stages of grieving.

Until bereaved people come out of that stage, no progress can be made in resolving their grief. Research indicates that viewing the deceased or knowing that a body has been located helps to fulfill the psychological needs of those who are left behind. Most people need the experience of seeing a loved one's body because it makes the loss real and allows survivors to take the next step in the grieving process.

This is one of the primary reasons behind funeral practices.  It's why there is such a push to find bodies in mass disasters like airplane crashes and earthquakes - even when it's certain that the searchers are no longer looking for survivors.  This family is in limbo, because their loved one is 'technically dead', and yet they see her hooked up to machines giving her a poor semblance of life. 

Offline Torch

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #51 on: January 09, 2014, 04:25:06 PM »

Is using her body in this fashion not akin to what an organ donor does? Her husband and family don't really have any more use for the physical remains (beyond the ceremonial) and the fetus is immediately dependent on them for life. Is there a significant difference between that situation and if my family refused to donate my flesh and organs to someone who needed them to live because they insisted on having a 'whole' body for an open casket funeral?

If your family does not want to donate your organs, legally they have that right (the reason is irrelevant), and the state cannot intervene in the same way that the state cannot force someone (alive or dead) to donate blood, plasma, corneas, or anything else.

It's basically the same reason abortion rulings cite a right to privacy under the 14th Amendment.


Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #52 on: January 09, 2014, 04:25:16 PM »
There's something of a contradiction in your argument there because you're saying that the next-of-kin's personal beliefs and preferences over the disposal of corpse take precedence ahead of what could very well be a living thing (given a little time, resources, and the miracle of modern medicine), something that is predicated on slightly different set of personal beliefs held by a different group of people. How can you say one set of beliefs holds more sway over said corpse/fetus than the other? Simply by virtue of her family having closer blood ties?

One - can the fetus live outside of the womb at the time of death? No? Then it is not viable and thus, not 'alive'. (This is my personal opinion) Two - what right does the state have to force this family into accepting not only the use of their family member's corpse, as Torch put it, as a crock pot? Three- Do I have any faith that this husband will not be charged for the very (overly bloated) medical costs for them using the corpse as a human crock pot? Nope. I fully suspect both his insurance and him will get billed for this - thus they are not only denied closure for their family and thrust into a position to accept such a disgusting act as using the corpse to facilitate the continued growth of a fetus that cannot survive outside of the womb but I fully believe they'll be charged for this "privilege" as well. Four - even if the husband gives this child up for adoption (physically/mentally sound or not) he still has to deal with the chance that in 18+ years he could be faced with this adult on his doorstep.

In my personal opinion...

A) Can the fetus live outside of the womb at the time of death? No? Allow nature to take it's course. It is a tragedy but then life is not fair. It is messy and at times it is a damn tragedy.
B) The next of kin's wishes should be final.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2014, 04:32:13 PM »
I guess one of the morals of the story is, we should discuss our personal views on life/death matters with those near and dear to us, so they know what to do if we find ourselves such a condition.

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2014, 04:33:37 PM »
I guess one of the morals of the story is, we should discuss our personal views on life/death matters with those near and dear to us, so they know what to do if we find ourselves such a condition.

Except she did. And it isn't being listened to. And her loved ones aren't the ones not listening.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2014, 04:40:34 PM »
I guess one of the morals of the story is, we should discuss our personal views on life/death matters with those near and dear to us, so they know what to do if we find ourselves such a condition.

Check the earlier posts by Iniquitous Opheliac which cite articles clearly establishing her husbands assertion that his wife would not have wanted to be kept on life support.

I'm not sure if you've ever had someone close to you die, so please forgive a little extra explanation.  It's compounded when death is sudden, but even with a lingering illness, there is a period where you don't fully accept that the person is dead.  You might find yourself thinking of calling them, or sharing something with them, or expecting them to be somewhere.  It's called denial, and it's the first of the recognized stages of grieving.

Until bereaved people come out of that stage, no progress can be made in resolving their grief. Research indicates that viewing the deceased or knowing that a body has been located helps to fulfill the psychological needs of those who are left behind. Most people need the experience of seeing a loved one's body because it makes the loss real and allows survivors to take the next step in the grieving process.

This is one of the primary reasons behind funeral practices.  It's why there is such a push to find bodies in mass disasters like airplane crashes and earthquakes - even when it's certain that the searchers are no longer looking for survivors.  This family is in limbo, because their loved one is 'technically dead', and yet they see her hooked up to machines giving her a poor semblance of life.

Okay, that's an angle I hadn't considered. For the record, I haven't had anyone as close as a spouse or child die in my life (for which I'm very grateful) but the psychological impact of such an event while intangible, is not beyond the scope of our considerations. Obviously it disrupts routine, security, and can have somatic repercussions as well, all of which contribute to an actual, quantifiable "loss" beyond the purely emotional side of the matter.

Can we prioritize the family's closure ahead though, of the potential for good represented by the fetus? After all, we're not destroying all hope of closure, simply deferring it in favor of the potential well being of another "life", by a matter of months (less if there is a miscarriage).

My argument was largely directed at Iniquitous Opheliac's hardline stance regarding the brain-dead body of the woman being nothing more than a shell over which the state should have no claim. There's a certain part of me which wants to continue that line of reasoning, and say that whatever emotional trauma the immediate family might suffer is trumped by the potential for the child's life because their grief is intangible and the child's life is not. If I were a completely heartless bastard I would say their sense of closure is founded on misguided perceptions of life/death and a cultural or even perfunctory attachment to the body of what was once their daughter. Seeing as how I'm not sharing in their suffering and can't fully relate to it however, that's not a stance I'm willing to take however I do feel it is the more potentially objective stance in this matter.

Ultimately, the reason I support the potential life represented by the fetus in this case (as opposed to any other abortion in any other circumstance) is based on a somewhat esoteric and philosophical reasoning regarding why life is precious in the first place, and thus as practical political supporter of abortion, I could readily be convinced to support the overturning of Texas State Law. That would be me putting my personal ethical feelings in the matter aside for the sake of expedience and the well being of others, a decision I do not take lightly, but feel that could be extended to the husband and parents to do exactly the opposite.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 04:42:11 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline Valthazar

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2014, 04:48:29 PM »
Check the earlier posts by Iniquitous Opheliac which cite articles clearly establishing her husbands assertion that his wife would not have wanted to be kept on life support.

So what is the real moral of the story?  We should get this sort of thing in writing?

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2014, 04:54:45 PM »
So what is the real moral of the story?  We should get this sort of thing in writing?

It's not a fable, or a narrative, there's no pre-determined moral to the story. We're trying to tease out of if there's some common conclusion we can draw. Thus far, the question seems to be whether or not the fetus as a potential life trumps the express desire of husband/parents in regards to the disposal of their wife/daughter's brain-dead body.

For me, it's a question of the utility the body has to them vs it the utility it has to the fetus. I don't particularly see that the woman's own wishes factor into the equation post mortum, especially since we cannot establish whether she would have consciously decided to go through with an abortion alive or dead.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2014, 05:23:12 PM »
After reading the last few arguments, I have to say, that my views are even more in question.

First, my entire problem with taking her off of life support due to an advance directive or living will, is that there has been no mention of a provision in said living will that if she were pregnant SHE would feel the same.

I may not condone all end - of - life choices. I respect those wishes of others to make their own decisions. But in this case, the 'life' of the fetus must be considered. I personally believe that it comes down to, was it in writing? On that note, I am a firm believer in that, if it's not in writing, it's hearsay. In most cases, that would not be an issue. What to do with the woman's body would be fully up to the next of kin. However, I feel that what to do with a fetus is up to the mother and the mother alone. But the mother has been taken out of this, she's dead (brain - dead) but still dead. In that case, there's a slippery slope here.

I do agree that this is not an abortion case, not really. But I think it kind of is too. In the fact that the fetus didn't 'die' when the mother did. It was found 'alive' by the hospital. That right there tells me that there is a reason. If there wasn't, the fetus would have died and this would be a tragic story rather than tragic battle. (Talking about battle between the hospital/state and the family).

I have seen how tragic and life altering miscarriages and still births can be. I have thankfully never been in that situation. But I have watched the grief in others in the support groups that I attended after my mothers death. (Grief support groups that were for any one that suffered a death). I hope and pray that I never go through that. Those are tragedies, but they were natural ones. Could some of them have been prevented, in some cases maybe yes. But in others it was just nature.

Being a person that does believe that everything happens for a reason, I believe that if that fetus was not meant to be, it would have died before it was discovered.

However, if this fetus is so damaged that, it will never have any kind of quality of life and that its being allowed to be brought to term will only cause any person serious financial and emotional suffering, then and only then do I feel that the life support should be turned off.

If it's discovered that the fetus is 'fine' and healthy and can be brought into the world and possibly have a full and healthy life, I say do not take the woman off of life support. But then again, if paternity is established. Medically established, not just stated verbally, then the right of what to do with the fetus is up to the father since the mother has been taken out of the equation. Normally, as I stated above, abortion is the right of the mother and the mother alone.

Now for my views. I will never condone or support a decision that will possibly terminate a pregnancy for any other reason than it is the most appropriate, medical decision. By appropriate medical decision, I mean that there have been tests done and or there is a clear indication that the fetus will be severely mentally and or physically handicapped and that fetus if allowed to be born will never have any quality of life and only cause all those involved pain. I just can't get behind that. I also believe that any abortion, whether I feel it's appropriate or not, is up to the mother and the mother alone. I may not support or condone most abortion decisions, but I do respect the right of a mother to decide what to do with her fetus. If the mother is incapacitated, I feel that the decision should be up to the biological father, barring any other extenuating circumstances. Yes, my views are based on my chosen religion.

I may never come to terms with what I feel is right in this case. Thankfully, I'm only an outsider looking in and not in this horrible tragedy.

I'd like to add something more. Chaoslord, I agree with you. I have to say, that's my issue. Since the woman is dead, she is out of the equation. As far as I've read, there was no mention on her standpoint to whether or not that she would have aborted this fetus. And there fore, unless she made some kind of provision, I don't believe that 'pulling the plug' in accordance with her 'wishes' factors in any more.

Offline IStateYourName

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2014, 05:24:04 PM »
See, the problem there is that that's almost certainly not where you have a problem.  Do you have an issue with the civil rights movement forcing their beliefs on others through the state/legislation.  With the anti-murder brigade putting in all this cumbersome murder laws?  I don't know you, granted, but in my experience when people say they object to people forming political groups to force through opinions, what they actually object to is political movements forcing beliefs they don't agree with.

Exactly what objectionable beliefs has the civil rights movement forced on others?  Please be more specific here as to the "forcing of beliefs" you refer to.

"Anti-murder brigade?"  Who, exactly, are you referring to there?  Can you cite a political movement or platform there?

None of this alters the fact that in a society that protects the rights of the individual, the State should have no standing in a situation like this.  The embryo is not viable.  The mother is not an incubator.  What should count here are 1) her wishes, 2) the wishes of her family and the child's father, and 3) the doctors' consensus as to her prognosis.

The State needs to butt out.  As I saw in a Facebook feed a few months back:

If you don't like abortion, don't have one.
If you don't like cannabis and/or cigarettes, don't smoke them.
If you don't like alcohol, don't drink it.
If you don't like porn, don't watch it.
If you don't like guns, don't own one.
If you don't like drugs, don't do them.
If you don't want your rights taken away, don't take away the rights of someone else.


Seems like pretty good advice to me.

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2014, 05:58:53 PM »
After reading the last few arguments, I have to say, that my views are even more in question.

*snip*

First of all, thanks for your support Demoness, I appreciate that this is obviously a convoluted scenario for you given your beliefs.

As someone who firmly believes that their is no rhyme or reason to the way things happen (only action and reaction), no higher power other than the physical laws of the universe, I am forced to find an alternative moral standing as to why human life matters at all in the grand scheme of things, which is why I appeal to the potential for human life to accomplish "good" things in order to explain why ending life is wrong. In my own personal code of ethics that standard applies as readily to murder as to abortion as to war as to self-defense. Obviously that's a very impractical position to take in light of the all the other necessary (and unnecessary) evils in this world, so I make allowances for the application of law and politics.

So philosophically, I believe that murder in the first is as morally untenable as murder in self defense, murder in a time of war, and the termination of a fetus. Given the political ramifications of those respective actions however, I abdicate for a differing political approaches and solutions.

Exactly what objectionable beliefs has the civil rights movement forced on others?  Please be more specific here as to the "forcing of beliefs" you refer to.

"Anti-murder brigade?"  Who, exactly, are you referring to there?  Can you cite a political movement or platform there?

None of this alters the fact that in a society that protects the rights of the individual, the State should have no standing in a situation like this.  The embryo is not viable.  The mother is not an incubator.  What should count here are 1) her wishes, 2) the wishes of her family and the child's father, and 3) the doctors' consensus as to her prognosis.

The State needs to butt out.  As I saw in a Facebook feed a few months back:

If you don't like abortion, don't have one.
If you don't like cannabis and/or cigarettes, don't smoke them.
If you don't like alcohol, don't drink it.
If you don't like porn, don't watch it.
If you don't like guns, don't own one.
If you don't like drugs, don't do them.
If you don't want your rights taken away, don't take away the rights of someone else.


Seems like pretty good advice to me.
Good advice, but poor legal precedent or political practice. Any given problem I have with any of the things you just listed has nothing to do with other people exercising an individual right for them to conduct themselves as they please, it's that their conduct invariably affects me in one way or another. No one is an island, no actions made in a vacuum, and nothing is without consequences and repercussions. In other words, there is no such thing as a truly victim-less crime.

What you have is the equivalent of me saying "Don't like murder? Don't commit one." It's inane and ultimately non-productive. Instead, why not try something like:
  • When people smoke cigarettes/cannabis, second hand smoke affects those around them, not to mention their economic cotnribution to perpetuating what is ultimately a self-destructive habit (by virtue of increased risk of lung cancer alone).
  • When people drink alcohol, it is inevitable that some of those people will abuse it, and get behind the wheel of a car; fall into depression; harm their family & loved ones.
  • When people own guns, it is inevitable that some of those guns will be used to kill other people by accident or design (not to mention how convenient they make suicide).
  • When people watch porn, they contribute economically to an industry with a sordid and controversial past which takes advantage of women and perpetuates misogynist stereotypes.
In order for me to exercise my individual rights, it is necessary to restrict other actions and behaviors (my own included)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2014, 06:25:34 PM »
Do keep in mind that the hospital is not saying she is “brain-dead,” the family is saying this.  The hospital is not allowed, by law, to comment on her health condition because the husband is not allowing them to publically announce her condition.  I do believe that one source remarked that the wording seem contradictory as the hospital is using the word “life-saving” measures and considering her a patient while the family is referring to her as dead.  Also there is no word on the prognosis of the baby, one way or the other.  The hospital’s only statement has been that she is on life support and she is pregnant.

Also, the moral of the story is to make sure your wishes are in writing.  That being said her husband did not voice her desire to be a DNR nor did any of her family.  I can only assume, since she collapsed in her kitchen, that one of them were present to call 911.  None of them stated that the woman was a DNR before those life saving measures were started and once they are begun there is no stopping them.  Weeks later, it would seem, the family is concerned about having her on life support.  The law does not prevent her from declaring herself a DNR or making her end of life wishes known.  Instead the law says that once the measures are in place, she cannot have them removed.  Her time to have those wishes honored was when the paramedics looked at the husband and then began CPR. 

Then there is the fact that, stated in one of the articles, the couple was looking forward to having another child.  So the woman wanted to have and keep the child.  Does that wish disappear when she makes an end-of-life choice?  Does her desire to have a child, to pass along her genes and have this baby end because her family has decided their lives would be easier if they let her pass?  Does her husband have the right to deny her wish to have the child?

Offline Valthazar

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2014, 06:35:05 PM »
Also, the moral of the story is to make sure your wishes are in writing.  That being said her husband did not voice her desire to be a DNR nor did any of her family. 

Thanks, this is what I figured, and what I was confused about while reading this story.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2014, 06:47:41 PM »
Exactly what objectionable beliefs has the civil rights movement forced on others?  Please be more specific here as to the "forcing of beliefs" you refer to.

I don't see any mention of objectionable beliefs in your post - that's new.  All you said was that you (claim to)object to groups forcing political beliefs on others.  My point was that you don't - as shown by you adding the phrase "objectionable" to your argument.  You object to groups pushing beliefs that you don't share.  Which eventually boils down to "I disagree with groups I disagree with".

People have beliefs.  They, obviously, believe those beliefs are correct.  Why shouldn't they push for legislation to support them?  Either you object to, in essence, democracy or you allow groups to pursue their beliefs through political means.

Online DemonessOfDeathValleyTopic starter

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2014, 07:00:23 PM »
Since it was brought up, I don't have cemented views on smoking and drinking. While I do agree that those activities are harmful to the user and sometimes to others, I am not for the banning of said substances. And I will leave it at that.

On the subject of illegal drugs (cannabis is illegal in my state unless that has changed recently). I don't condone the use of said substances merely because they are illegal and those using them are at risk of incarceration, I do not want to find myself in jail because of guilt by association and questions being asked later. I also do not want to end up in jail because of my own judgments. Hence the reason I have never done any kind of illegal drug.

On the subject of guns, I don't like them nor do I want them in my home. Being from and residing in Texas, I can say that I am in the minority on the matter in my area/state. I'm not behind the banning of all guns. But I'm also opposed to civilians being able to obtain them so easily and even being able to get a permit to carry them on their person. I know that some individuals are responsible and would only use said firearm in the most dire of situations. But there are also those that don't need to be any where near a firearm because of their temper/anger issues. I know people personally that have one firearm for hunting/protection purposes and as many safety measures as possible are taken with having that firearm in their home/possession. I also know several on the flip side that have entire rooms of locked and loaded weapons, some of which are barely legal and have caches of extra ammunition. I am personally opposed to guns, but I don't believe they should be banned.

On the subject of porn. I'm torn here. Yes, the entire industry is questionable, especially with some of the things that I've heard occurred in the past. However, if an actor is there of their own free will and chooses that as their profession, I believe it's not for me to judge. Nor is it my place to judge a person that watches porn if the person is of age and they are watching two consenting adults. If that is not the case then the situation is different.

Back to the topic at hand.

I don't feel that the wishes of the woman or her family should be taken into consideration in this case barring two things. 1) If she stated in writing that no matter what (meaning that no matter what medical findings occurred, including the discovery of a pregnancy) that she would not want to be kept on life support at all. Or two 2) Paternity is medically discovered and the decision is then put into the father. Then and only then should the woman be taken off of life support.

Pumpkin Seeds makes a good point. The hospital has not and can't legally comment as to whether or not the woman is brain dead. The family is saying she is. Also, there is the fact that it was mentioned she was looking forward to having another child. I agree, does her wish to see that pregnancy to the end while in life disappear just because the family doesn't want to 'deal with' what is happening? Or maybe because yes, she had the wish of not being on life support? But I also agree that if these 'life saving measures' were not what the woman or her husband wanted, then before the Paramedics started CPR, he should have said 'no, stop'. Or the woman should have taken measures to have a DNR put into place. That is the whole thing behind advance directives and end - of - life planning. If a person doesn't want it, put it in writing.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2014, 07:08:12 PM »
Okay - just to make things clear, there is no question even being voiced about paternity.  The father's name and picture are in the article.  From the article, it appeared that he was also siding with his wife's parents. 

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #66 on: January 09, 2014, 07:49:02 PM »
Can you have a DNR separate from a wish to not remain on life support?

To me, those are 2 very different things.

I would want to be resuscitated if possible, however, if declared brain dead, I would not wish to remain on life support.

Assuming that because they were allowed to do CPR and attempt to save her means she had nothing declaring she didn't want to be on life support seems to be 2 separate issues. But as I have never done one or the other, I don't know for sure. Could someone clear that up for me?

To me in the end, it seems that if it IS true she had something that said she did not wish to be on life support, then regardless of her condition, that should have been respected.

If I didn't ask to have my organs donated, I wouldn't expect to have my body kept on life support so they could take my heart to save a young adult who was about to die without it.

Is that heartless? No. It is me stating what I do or do not wish to happen to my body when/if it is in that situation.

This is no different. Yes, perhaps the fetus can live, perhaps not. But if she has whatever it is called (living will?) written that states she does not want life support, that should be honored just as much as if I did not want my organs harvested.

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #67 on: January 09, 2014, 07:56:00 PM »
Do keep in mind that the hospital is not saying she is “brain-dead,” the family is saying this.  The hospital is not allowed, by law, to comment on her health condition because the husband is not allowing them to publically announce her condition.  I do believe that one source remarked that the wording seem contradictory as the hospital is using the word “life-saving” measures and considering her a patient while the family is referring to her as dead.  Also there is no word on the prognosis of the baby, one way or the other.  The hospital’s only statement has been that she is on life support and she is pregnant.

Also, the moral of the story is to make sure your wishes are in writing.  That being said her husband did not voice her desire to be a DNR nor did any of her family.  I can only assume, since she collapsed in her kitchen, that one of them were present to call 911.  None of them stated that the woman was a DNR before those life saving measures were started and once they are begun there is no stopping them.  Weeks later, it would seem, the family is concerned about having her on life support.  The law does not prevent her from declaring herself a DNR or making her end of life wishes known.  Instead the law says that once the measures are in place, she cannot have them removed.  Her time to have those wishes honored was when the paramedics looked at the husband and then began CPR. 

Then there is the fact that, stated in one of the articles, the couple was looking forward to having another child.  So the woman wanted to have and keep the child.  Does that wish disappear when she makes an end-of-life choice?  Does her desire to have a child, to pass along her genes and have this baby end because her family has decided their lives would be easier if they let her pass?  Does her husband have the right to deny her wish to have the child?

First things first - Addressing the diagnosis...

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The diagnosis was crushing and irrevocable. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs.

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Mr. and Mrs. Machado said the hospital had made it clear to them that their daughter was brain-dead, but hospital officials have declined to comment on Mrs. Munoz’s care and condition, creating uncertainty over whether the hospital has formally declared her brain-dead.

Second - DNR and life saving measures. I think you are all overlooking something. What has been said by the family repeatedly is she did not to be kept on machines if there was NO chance of recovery. Welp, pretty sure dead brain = no recovery. That being the case, all machines should have been turned off the moment the diagnosis was made of brain death. Right? You betcha. Problem?

Quote
But as her parents and her husband prepared to say their final goodbyes in the intensive care unit at John Peter Smith Hospital here and to honor her wish not to be left on life support, they were stunned when a doctor told them the hospital was not going to comply with their instructions. Mrs. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant, the doctor said, and Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient.

Please note - this is not about resuscitating her. This is keeping a corpse on a bunch of machines to incubate a fetus. Against the wishes of the deceased and her next of kin. This is about a hospital setting that line in the sand and saying "life begins at..." when they have NO right to. If the church cannot set it and the law cannot set it, then what right does this hospital have to set that definition?

So here is my question. How is a corpse a patient? It isn't. So who is the patient here? Oh right. The unborn and unable to survive outside of the womb fetus. The one they have declared alive despite the fact that there is no definitive set line that says 'a fetus is alive at this point.'

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Mrs. Machado said the doctors had told her that they would make a decision about what to do with the fetus as it reached 22 to 24 weeks, and that they had discussed whether her daughter could carry the baby to full term to allow for a cesarean-section delivery. “That’s very frustrating for me, especially when we have no input in the decision-making process,” Mr. Machado added. “They’re prolonging our agony.”

A quote from the mother expressing how this is tearing them up. They cannot get the closure they need in order to move forward in their grief because a bunch of high handed people decided they had the right to decide what would happen to this woman's body. They are not even discussing with the family what to do with the fetus, so please do not bring up a 'this is so the family can have the baby as a lasting gift from the mother.' That's BS. If they gave two craps about the family they would include them in all discussions of what to do with the fetus.

In other words, this is gonna be a case of "ok, the fetus made it to 24 weeks. Let's deliver it. Ta da! Baby. Here you go, now pay us for us keeping the corpse on machines to do this."

And Pumpkin, I am sorry to say this - but she made it clear to her husband what she wanted done in the event that she would not be able to recover. Pull the plug. At this point, any wish she may have had to have a second child is now overruled by the wish to not remain on machines. Her husband doesn't want her used as a crock pot and has stated that her wishes were to be let go. Ergo... the end.

And once again Demoness - it would NOT matter if she had all this in writing. The hospital would have still chose to ignore it because of a law that they are twisting. And that is what rubs me the wrong way. No state, no institution should have the right to overrule my wishes.


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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #68 on: January 09, 2014, 08:24:56 PM »
I disagree with you Iniquitous Opheliac. I believe it needs to be in writing.

When I was talking of paternity, I was more or less stating where the decision of the fetus lies. In a case such as this, I don't believe that establishing paternity needs to be left up to just a verbal confirmation. I believe it needs to be medically established.

It would appear that my views are in the minority. Which, given that most of them are due to my chosen faith, I would expect that. Especially when MY faith doesn't really factor into a more legal problem, which this case is.

I just still can't get behind turning off the life support.

I would like to say thank you to all those that have commented and joined this discussion. Whether I agree or disagree with the viewpoints that have been given, I appreciate the participation and have been given a lot of think about.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #69 on: January 09, 2014, 08:39:22 PM »
Demoness:  I think the thing that most people are stunned about is that the decision is being taken away from those people who should, by all rights, be the ones to make it.  There happens to be a flip-flop of this case happening right now:  A teen went under anesthesia for tonsil surgery.  There were complications, resulting in brain-death.  Her family had to fight to keep her on a ventilator.  They've recently been successful, but it was another case of the decision being taken away from the family (albeit unsuccessfully), and just as disturbing to me.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #70 on: January 09, 2014, 08:40:26 PM »
Been sitting out of this discussion because subjects like this aside from being heart wrenching are a hard place to say what is "right." We all have differing moral compasses and one cannot legislate morality. I do not like abortion for example but I am not so sure the morality of my stance can be legislated until say you get into later term pregnancies. That aside my comment is neutral on a stance one way or another on this other than like the OP I find it disturbing.

But Iniquitous Opheliac you kind of touched on one of my pet peeves. You see I am a biologist and when you speak about "life" you touch on my profession and when I hear the argument a fetus is not "alive" it makes me grind my teeth. You see, blue green algae is alive as is slime mold two types of simple organisms that are considered among the most simple life forms that can be considered "alive." Biologically speaking parasites that cannot live outside of a host are considered "alive." Any living cell that meets the characteristics of life is scientifically speaking alive. So assuming said fetus has living cells, is breathing, that sort of thing then it is biologically speaking alive.

I am not arguing if it is sentient, intelligent, or if it is nothing more than something like a bacterial colony that is autoclaved when an experiment is over. I have opinions on those topics, but I am not broaching them. But it is scientifically speaking "alive." If you used the argument it was not a viable organism or intelligent or something along those lines I would not have a problem with the argument. But when I see pro abortion folks say I fetus is not alive it sticks in my craw because that is simply not true. Generally speaking is a single cell displays cellular respiration then it is alive.

This is a scientific fact that trying to ignore it is not a valid argument. Just like evolution is a scientific fact barring some earth breaking discovery in the future that disproves it. The religious trying to ignore evolution just because it is inconvenient to their beliefs is not a valid argument. Just like Sir Issac Newton proved one cannot create or destroy matter might be inconvenient to one who say think burning something destroys it when it in fact just changes the states of its constituents. Inconvenience does not change reality.

Aside from that I am not wading into the moral quagmire. I tend to think terminating the life of the fetus is wrong, but it is not my place to say. I am not enduring the mental and emotional anguish of this family. And even though I have had my share of family trauma in my life I cannot say I understand since I do not have the same background as them. All I have to say is that the sort of argument made against the viability of a fetus would hold more water for me if it was couched in terms of "lack of sentience, lack of ability to survive on its own" or something along those lines. Simply ignoring basic biology because it is not convenient bugs me.

And now I am out and besides am leaving town for a few days so shall not be around E.

EDIT: It occurred to me I should include a link rather than "just take my word for it." So here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life  Wikipedia addresses the complicated topic about as well as need be for this sort of discussion.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 09:06:06 PM by Retribution »

Offline chaoslord29

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #71 on: January 09, 2014, 09:08:48 PM »
First things first - Addressing the diagnosis...

Second - DNR and life saving measures. I think you are all overlooking something. What has been said by the family repeatedly is she did not to be kept on machines if there was NO chance of recovery. Welp, pretty sure dead brain = no recovery. That being the case, all machines should have been turned off the moment the diagnosis was made of brain death. Right? You betcha. Problem?

Please note - this is not about resuscitating her. This is keeping a corpse on a bunch of machines to incubate a fetus. Against the wishes of the deceased and her next of kin. This is about a hospital setting that line in the sand and saying "life begins at..." when they have NO right to. If the church cannot set it and the law cannot set it, then what right does this hospital have to set that definition?

So here is my question. How is a corpse a patient? It isn't. So who is the patient here? Oh right. The unborn and unable to survive outside of the womb fetus. The one they have declared alive despite the fact that there is no definitive set line that says 'a fetus is alive at this point.'

A quote from the mother expressing how this is tearing them up. They cannot get the closure they need in order to move forward in their grief because a bunch of high handed people decided they had the right to decide what would happen to this woman's body. They are not even discussing with the family what to do with the fetus, so please do not bring up a 'this is so the family can have the baby as a lasting gift from the mother.' That's BS. If they gave two craps about the family they would include them in all discussions of what to do with the fetus.

In other words, this is gonna be a case of "ok, the fetus made it to 24 weeks. Let's deliver it. Ta da! Baby. Here you go, now pay us for us keeping the corpse on machines to do this."

And Pumpkin, I am sorry to say this - but she made it clear to her husband what she wanted done in the event that she would not be able to recover. Pull the plug. At this point, any wish she may have had to have a second child is now overruled by the wish to not remain on machines. Her husband doesn't want her used as a crock pot and has stated that her wishes were to be let go. Ergo... the end.

And once again Demoness - it would NOT matter if she had all this in writing. The hospital would have still chose to ignore it because of a law that they are twisting. And that is what rubs me the wrong way. No state, no institution should have the right to overrule my wishes.
Pumpkin Seeds seemed to think that since this is a state mandate and the hospital is the one enforcing it, the parents/father aren't going to have to foot the bill as it were; In other words, this isn't some scheme to screw them out of money. You're also presuming quite a bit about what the woman in question may have felt about abortion (in life or death) herself. The point is, with nothing in writing, there's only hearsay to go on. The hospital isn't declaring anything, they're just obeying state law (however wrongheaded the law might be); would you have the hospital take on the whole battery of state lawyers and whatever anti-abortion interest groups decide to wade into the fray? It's no more their place to try and overturn laws than it is declare where and when life begins in relation to conception-birth. Better to keep their heads low, obfuscate until the the fetus either miscarries or is ready to be surgically delivered.

If the corpse is a corpse, then what's the harm in letting said lifeless mortal coil act in place of whatever medical technology might otherwise be necessary to keep the fetus alive?

The family's emotional suffering having their daughter remain on life support? What do you care, you're the one who keeps insisting she's dead as dead can be and there's no two ways around it. Who are you to say a delay in their emotional comfort by a couple months is worth more than whatever the hell that fetus may or may not be?

Maybe that's being needlessly instigatory, but it does strike me as something of a contradiction in your logic. Is our goal to maximize utility or is it to honor the irrational desires of one party's intangible beliefs over another's?

I realize I'm something of a unique party in this case because I can't morally justify abortion as much as I may uphold a legal right to it. In this case, how do you establish her desire to go through with an abortion in her post mortum state? Indirectly through the hearsay provided by her next-of-kin based in regards to her willingness to be taken off life support?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 09:11:33 PM by chaoslord29 »

Offline Iniquitous

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2014, 09:15:56 PM »
I disagree with you Iniquitous Opheliac. I believe it needs to be in writing.

When I was talking of paternity, I was more or less stating where the decision of the fetus lies. In a case such as this, I don't believe that establishing paternity needs to be left up to just a verbal confirmation. I believe it needs to be medically established.

It would appear that my views are in the minority. Which, given that most of them are due to my chosen faith, I would expect that. Especially when MY faith doesn't really factor into a more legal problem, which this case is.

I just still can't get behind turning off the life support.

I would like to say thank you to all those that have commented and joined this discussion. Whether I agree or disagree with the viewpoints that have been given, I appreciate the participation and have been given a lot of think about.

Ok, honestly, your views clash with the law.

1. The law in Texas gives hospitals the right to ignore written living wills/advance directives. Doesn't matter what you believe. That IS the law.

2. In every state, if a woman is married and pregnant, the husband is recognized as the father UNLESS he is willing to prove he is NOT. Now in cases of disputed paternity, the state will pay for a paternity test. Since this is not a dispute of who is the father who do YOU think should be made to cough up the several hundred dollars needed to show he is the father of the fetus and thus has the right to say "end it." Furthermore, he is the legal next of kin. That alone gives him the right, by law, to make such decisions but the state of Texas has made it possible for doctors to overrule the wishes of the deceased and next of kin - whether in writing or not.

Quote
But Iniquitous Opheliac you kind of touched on one of my pet peeves. You see I am a biologist and when you speak about "life" you touch on my profession and when I hear the argument a fetus is not "alive" it makes me grind my teeth. You see, blue green algae is alive as is slime mold two types of simple organisms that are considered among the most simple life forms that can be considered "alive." Biologically speaking parasites that cannot live outside of a host are considered "alive." Any living cell that meets the characteristics of life is scientifically speaking alive. So assuming said fetus has living cells, is breathing, that sort of thing then it is biologically speaking alive.

Can it survive on it's own right this moment? No? Not viable - not capable of sustaining life. Was it able to survive on it's own at the time the mother died? No? Not viable - not capable of sustaining life. For lack of a better term, a fetus is a parasite and it needs a host in order to form to the point of being able to exist (live) on it's own. Thus, at this stage, I do not see the fetus as being alive. (and before you ask - yes, I am a mother. I've had four children. I still say if it cannot survive on it's own outside of the womb, it is not alive.)

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because I can't morally justify abortion

It is not an abortion. Sorry. It would be a natural death. The mother, the host body, is dead - thus, naturally, the fetus would die.

I'd would be interested to follow the story to the end to find out who gets stuck with the bloated hospital bill. I don't see the state and/or hospital swallowing it.

The harm in allowing a corpse to be an incubator. Really? I would NOT want my body left tied to machines after I have passed away for MONTHS just to incubate a fetus that may or may not survive. That may or may not have severe neurological problems. I would not want my family to go through such. I think this is morally wrong. I find it to clash horribly with my morals and it offends me that people think they have the kind of right to do as they want with other people's bodies in certain situations. It is not their body to make these decisions.

And point blank - the family and husband obviously do NOT want the fetus. Seems everyone has skirted around that little tidbit. They WANT their daughter/wife and her unborn child buried. Why in the hell does lawmakers and doctors get the right to overrule this?

Before adoption is brought up as a solution. Do any of you have any idea how many children are in foster care? How many are, right now, waiting to be adopted? The point to the question is there are thousands upon thousands of children in desperate need of adoptions. You want to add another one into the system. One that could be severely handicapped, thus reducing it's desirability among those wishing to adopt. And who cares for the child and pays for the child till someone is found for the child? The father who seemingly does not want it? The state?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 09:27:32 PM by Iniquitous Opheliac »

Offline lilhobbit37

Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2014, 09:20:40 PM »
I realize I'm something of a unique party in this case because I can't morally justify abortion as much as I may uphold a legal right to it. In this case, how do you establish her desire to go through with an abortion in her post mortum state? Indirectly through the hearsay provided by her next-of-kin based in regards to her willingness to be taken off life support?

For the umpteenth time, as more than one of us has pointed out...

This is NOT abortion. It is a natural passing of a fetus with it's mother. The fetus CANNOT live in an incubator. It is not viable and is unable to live if removed in any way from the womb. That means simply this: it is as viable as any organ in her body at the moment. No one would be fighting against this if it was her heart or liver they wanted. But because it is a fetus which is living as much on the machines as her heart and liver, people are fighting against her wishes.

This is not an abortion should they pull the plug. It is allowing nature to take it's course.

I work with death certificates every day. We have 2 types for fetus's: Induced Termination of Pregnancy (Abortion) and Fetal Death. This would NOT go on an IToP's form. Because it isn't an induced termination. It would be a fetal death, cause of death: maternal death.

This makes it NOT an abortion. It is only an abortion if a termination is specifically induced. They would be doing nothing to kill the fetus, it would simply die on it's own because it is unable to survive outside the womb which no longer has life.

Very very different from abortion.

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Re: This disturbed me
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2014, 09:24:45 PM »
Can it survive on it's own right this moment? No? Not viable - not capable of sustaining life. Was it able to survive on it's own at the time the mother died? No? Not viable - not capable of sustaining life. For lack of a better term, a fetus is a parasite and it needs a host in order to form to the point of being able to exist (live) on it's own. Thus, at this stage, I do not see the fetus as being alive. (and before you ask - yes, I am a mother. I've had four children. I still say if it cannot survive on it's own outside of the womb, it is not alive.)

My last response to this and that is that you are ignoring basic biology. That is all I am pointing out I am not weighing on if this should or should not be terminated in this particular news item.  Here is a cut and paste of the basic definition of life that can be found lower down in the link I gave. You will find a fetus displays all of these characteristics.

"Biology
Since there is no unequivocal definition of life, the current understanding is descriptive. Life is considered a characteristic of organisms that exhibit all or most of the following characteristics or traits:[31][33][34]

Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.
Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells — the basic units of life.
Metabolism: Transformation of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.
Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of anabolism than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter.
Adaptation: The ability to change over time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity, diet, and external factors.
Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of multicellular organisms. A response is often expressed by motion; for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism), and chemotaxis.
Reproduction: The ability to produce new individual organisms, either asexually from a single parent organism, or sexually from two parent organisms.
These complex processes, called physiological functions, have underlying physical and chemical bases, as well as signaling and control mechanisms that are essential to maintaining life."

And a parasite is alive. If you read the link I added in my edit you will find viruses are not considered alive, but are considered to be a type of matter that is on the cusp of "life."

EDIT: I want to restate I find no qualm with your argument it is indeed a valid one. What I have an issue with is the use of the term "life" as I said it would be more accurate if you used viable or some similar term.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 09:28:01 PM by Retribution »