Abortion (v5) Now Discussing: Wrongful Life

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    (Waits for scaremongering about "designer babies" and comparisons to Nazi eugenics...)
  2. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
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    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    In Denmark it's already so that since they made screening for Down's syndrom available the rates of children born with DS has decreased so much that it's predicted that in 10 years no children will probably be born with DS.
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    The screening is not always right. My cousin was supposed to be born with Downs Syndrome, the doctors tried to pressure my aunt to have an abortion, but she had my cousin, and she's fine (17 now).
  4. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Doctors should never put pressure on a patient to have an abortion. Ever.

    That is not their job. I'd file a complaint with the relevant medical board if I ever came across such conduct.

    The screening simply gives you a risk factor or probability factor, nothing more (as I understand it).
  5. Obi-Zahn Kenobi Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 1999
    star 7
    Some comments:

    I have little credibility on this issue, as I'm an ardent Catholic and most of you seem to think I'm crazy, but I'll speak anyway.

    I'd like to define term first.

    "Baby" is a great word but horrid for these discussions. I'll avoid that. "Life" and "human" are also muddled. When I say human, I mean, "an organism which is classified phylogenetically as a member of Homo sapiens". When I say alive, I mean, "maintains homeostasis and is progressing in the normal path of development."

    Hence, is a cancer cell in a lab a human organism? No, a cancer cell is a part of a human. A cell line in a lab is a part of that human being kept artificially alive. Is a severed finger a human? No, it's part of one - and with the cell lines used in cancer research (such as my lab uses), it's often a human who is no longer alive.

    Is a finger alive? Some of the cells may individually be maintaining homeostasis, but the overall ability to maintain homeostasis has ceased. Someone who has been shot in the heart is dead nearly immediately, despite the fact that some cells will maintain homeostasis for a while. The organism, as a whole, has ceased to maintain homeostasis. Hence, it is no longer alive. Sperm and ova have a certain life of their own as they go on to become separate organisms, but seeing as their genome is not unique (recombined, and halved, but the same genome arranged different - not a new, unique one), they would seem to be merely a part of the human organism which produced them. Sperm do not divide or reproduce. They are not life in the way we typically define it. They combine with a part of another organism to form a new, living organism.

    Killing is when an organism is prevented from maintaining homeostasis. I hope this is straightforward.

    The different stages of human development are confusing to refer to, especially if one is unfamiliar with the specifications. "Zygote", "Embryo", "Fetus", and "Infant" are all using rather vaguely in common conversation. A zygote is a single celled organism which will develop to me mulitcellular. An embryo is alternately defined as either Mammalian organism after the first cell division or upon implantation (a special definition for humans). A fetus is a Homo sapiens in utero after the embryo stage, nine weeks after fertilization.

    So, I will not speak of baby-killing. I am going to try to be careful with terms so exactly what I mean is understood.

    So, the whole question is, which organisms have the moral right not to have their homeostasis forcibly terminated by another organism?

    Our society has laws that protects most humans from this. In some states, it is legally permissible for the government to kill humans who have violated certain societal rules. The federal government also takes this privilege sometimes.

    Currently, the laws concerning humans in gestation does not protect them from being killed. Again, I am not trying to be controversial - by human, I mean, an organism which is a member of Homo sapiens. A human finger and a human sperm are human, but a human zygote, fetus, adolescent, and geriatric are humans. Whether or not each is a human being and a person is a different question. As the laws stand, it is generally permissible for a gestating human being to have a doctor kill the human organism being gestated.

    Hence, charging a woman who is attempting to commit suicide with feticide, the killing of a fetus, seems absurd. It is lawful for her to go to a doctor to have the doctor intentionally kill the fetus, but unlawful and worthy of prosecution for her to have accidentally killed the fetus?

    How absurd.

    I do disagree with the laws that say she can have a doctor kill the human undergoing gestation, but this is inconsistent.

    Charging someone who intentionally kills a human undergoing gestation when the party gestating does not wish it is another matter. Hence, had it been a man trying to murder her who stabbed her in the belly and killed the fetus, that would be a different crime. Not only was the woman's own person encroached upon by the m
  6. Ichor_Razor Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2004
    star 3
    Well, were still a ways off from the year 6565 and only 29-79 years away from the beginning of the Cosmic Era so...
  7. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    I referenced this in my lecture today, V03, and gave you attribution. ;)
  8. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Thanks, my friend :).

    With all that's going on economically, republican lawmakers are still busy attacking womens' reproductive rights (below are summaries from the AMA Communication Wire, an email publication I receive daily with medical and business news of interest to physicians):

    Judge puts Oklahoma abortion law on hold.
    The AP (10/20, Murphy) reports, "An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked from taking effect a new law designed to reduce the number of abortions performed in the state by restricting the ways in which doctors can treat women with abortion-inducing drugs." The AP notes that "Oklahoma County District Judge Daniel Owens issued the ruling after a conference call with attorneys for both sides." This "temporary injunction prevents the bill from going into effect on Nov. 1."

    USA Today (10/20) reports in its "On Deadline" blog that the bill would require physicians "to follow the strict guidelines and protocols authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration and prohibits off-label uses of the drugs. It also requires doctors to examine the woman, document certain medical conditions and schedule a follow-up appointment." Two of the "drugs at the center of the case are mifepristone and misoprostol."

    Indiana Planned Parenthood refuses to separate abortion services. The AP (10/20) reports, "Indiana officials contend the state's Planned Parenthood chapter could end a fierce legal dispute over abortion funding by simply separating its abortion business from other services." Yet, "advocates for the organization view the idea as a red herring pushed by critics seeking to entirely defund the country's largest abortion provider." Their doubts are "fueled by experiences from Planned Parenthood chapters in two other states where non-abortion services were targeted even after such a split." The AP notes that "Indiana is one of the major fronts in a nationwide battle between social conservatives and Planned Parenthood."

    Wisconsin GOP lawmakers seek to repeal law requiring contraceptive lessons. The AP (10/20) reports, "Wisconsin Republicans are defending a proposal to dismantle a state law that requires schools that offer sex education to include contraceptives in their lessons." Notably, state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), "has written a bill that would lift that mandate. She told the Senate education committee Wednesday school boards deserve the flexibility to design their own sex education curriculums, even though her bill would require an emphasis on abstinence."

    Abortion foes drawing attention to Senate lawmakers. The Hill (10/20, Pecquet) "Healthwatch" blog reports, "Groups opposed to abortion rights are pressuring the Senate to act on a bill passed by the House last week that would prohibit health insurers from offering abortion coverage if any of their customers receives federal subsidies." One such group, "Americans United for Life (AUL), cautioned that passage of the Protect Life Act is less likely in the Senate." AUL also pointed "to Democratic senators' effort to derail a House investigation into Planned Parenthood."

    NYTimes: Protect Life Act endangers women's lives. The New York Times (10/20, A28, Subscription Publication) editorializes, "House Republicans approved an egregious measure last week that would shrink access to abortion to the point of endangering women's lives." At present, "hospitals receiving federal money must administer necessary emergency medical services to pregnant women, including abortion. The Protect Life Act would allow hospitals to refuse to perform an emergency abortion on religious or moral grounds even if a woman's life was at stake." The Times that this proposal "is another warning that supporters of women's reproductive rights need to push back a lot harder."




    This is why I have trouble supporting Republicans for office. They may not be talking about abortion in the debates, but the minute they get into office, the assault on reproductive rights begins. Despite all that has
  9. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Happy to do it - if you send me your contact info via PM, I can even give you a proper citation. ;)

    This actually raises a question I have - my students have asked about conditions that might require dilation and extraction of a viable fetus, and you have much more hands-on experience than I do. The reasons I've come across clinically have revolved around cardiac insufficiency and related issues; are their other conditions I should be telling my students about? I covered "PBA" in class yesterday, and will probably be addressing it later today as well. I'm happy to post any information you think is relevant to our class message boards.
  10. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Happy to :)....basically, any condition in which there was impending fetal demise and the mother was compromised, for example. If a fetus had aspirated meconium and was in distress, and had already shown evidence of loss of viability, and the mother had developed any sort of complication (cardiac is one of the most common, but another big one is DIC-disseminated intravascular anticoagulation, in which the body's clotting system becomes inappropriately activated en masse and then suddenly disabled as a system-wide counterregulatory response, leading to life-threatening bleeding). To sum up, any condition where the pregnancy had to be ended quickly to save the mother's life and the mother was too unstable to undergo surgery.

    To be fair, this is only generally used as an abortion method when it is clear that fetal demise is inevitable and the mother's life is in imminent danger. In any other circumstance, every attempt would be made to save both the mother and the fetus; when there is an emergent need to deliver a fetus to save the mother, and the fetus is viable, a delivery is undertaken.

    I fully support the elective ban on this procedure simply as a method to end a late-term pregnancy, but I oppose the law as it is worded for the reasons I stated in my earlier post.

    I'll PM you my email and such.

    Peace,

    V-03
  11. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Grazie mille - I'll be updating my lecture notes accordingly.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Directly on point:

    Push for ?Personhood? Amendment Represents New Tack in Abortion Fight
    A constitutional amendment facing voters in Mississippi on Nov. 8, and similar initiatives brewing in half a dozen other states including Florida and Ohio, would declare a fertilized human egg to be a legal person, effectively branding abortion and some forms of birth control as murder.


    There's no reason this wouldn't pass in a place like Mississippi. Poor, dumb and, with efforts like this one, determined to stay that way.

    Interestingly, the Catholic Church is so concerned about the potential backlash to this initiative that they do not support it.

  13. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Brilliant move on the GOP's part.....yeah, right!

    Get increased evangelical turnout, give the dems' ammunition at the national level (because independents just LOVE anti-birth control constitutional amendments, state or otherwise), and force the USSC back into this fray just around election time. I'm sure said amendments will be challenged at the federal level, and end up right back in the lap of the high court.

    Man, they just can't resist, can they? If it weren't for social issues, John Huntsman would be the nominee, and Obama would already be writing his concession speech.

    I think the Republicans have now surpassed the dems' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, IMHO.

    On another note, this may seriously hamper a physician's ability to treat a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, for example, and it is criminally intrusive into the doctor-patient relationship.

    Peace,

    V-03
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I've already committed murder under this law unfortunately. My wife and I decided to murder our remaining frozen embryos after going through IVF. "Murder" is being a bit modest, to be frank. It was more of a killing spree. I told me wife I wanted to adopt, but she wouldn't listen.
  15. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    The needle for you!

    Perhaps the current law isn't restrictive enough?

    I'm thinking we need to ban arousal, that would give ample time to stop such action in it's tracks.

    Peace,

    V-03
  16. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Feticide? It sounds like a ferlitizer.
  17. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    What exactly do you grow with ferlitizer? :p....
  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, this seems like an odd other sort of thing relating to abortion to mention, but Israel is apparently having a large number of suits for 'wrongful life'.

    This is people suing because they weren't told about genetic defects that they would have got an abortion if they had known about, and in some cases the children who were not aborted are a part of the suit.
  19. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I believe parents should be able to sue for wrongful birth and claim damages for the ongoing financial costs associated with supporting a child with a disability which ought to have been detected, but 'wrongful life' requires, in an assessment of damages, a comparison between the child's present state, that is, life with a disability and non-existence - which is the state they would have been in had the negligence not occurred.

    I think the courts in jurisdictions other than Israel have formed the view that you cannot assess damages on the basis of a comparison between life with a disability and non-existence. In any claim for negligence you have to prove your loss, you must be able to calculate how you are worse off as a result of the negligence - that is the quantum of damages. Is non-existence better than existence with a disability? How do we assess non-existence in order to make the compariosn? You can't, which is why wrongful life actions are silly.
  20. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    If they were serious about it, they'd end their lives before they make it into a case.

    Assuming Israel takes good care of the disabled.
  21. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Eh, not sure what to think if someone is willing to say in public that they wish their child hadn't been born (unless it's an illegitimate child, then that's a different matter). I think most people would agree that once they're born, you live with it. Then again, it could be that the people suing here are just trying to make a point, or are opportunists looking for claim money.
  22. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    To be fair though, the costs of caring for a disabled child can be crippling (no pun intended). In some cases full time care and around the clock medical attention is required with no prospect of medical insurance. Parents have to quit their jobs, sell the house, etc etc. I'm sure they still love their kids, but they quite rightly want the negligent doctor's insurer to contribute financially to their significant and ongoing out of pocket expenses.
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Tomorrow's the big day for Mississippi proposition 26.

    Be it Enacted by the People of the State of
    Mississippi:

    SECTION 1. Article III of the constitution of
    the state of Mississippi is hereby amended BY THE
    ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION TO READ:

    SECTION 33. Person defined. As used in this
    Article III of the state constitution, ?The term ?person?
    or ?persons? shall include every human being from
    the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional
    equivalent thereof.

    I am a mass murderer under the laws of the state of Mississippi if this passes.
  24. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    This proposition is beyond ridiculous. And that's me speaking as a medical ethicist.
  25. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    That proposition is highly dangerous as well as being ridiculous. Miscarriages happen. There are medical circumstances under which a woman may realize that not terminating a pregnancy will be highly unsafe. This sounds like the breeding ground for "wrongful life" suits, possibly even combined with wrongful death; a woman who could have survived a pregnancy had she the option of terminating it sounds like a heinous lawsuit in the making.

    My mother has said many times that had she ever found herself pregnant with a child who would have massive birth defects or disabilities, she would have had an abortion. Not everyone is capable of caring for a child with serious special needs, and the adoption and foster-care system has a hard time placing special-needs kids for that very reason. It's a matter of what one is willing to take on in raising a child, and a woman who realizes that she is not in a position to care for a child has a very justifiable reason for terminating a pregnancy.

    Having been introduced to the anti-choice arguments through the lens of conservative Christianity, it disturbed me that none of those I spoke to could justify complete anti-abortion when a woman's life was in danger. And as a woman who might someday wish to get pregnant, I'd like to know that I have competent medical resources if something goes wrong. Call me cold-hearted, but I'm not willing to endanger my own life for a fetus, especially one whose quality of life would be very poor if born.