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Thread: Would You Let This Woman Die?

  1. #1
    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    Would You Let This Woman Die?

    Your wife is 3.5 months pregnant. One night, you discover her lying on the ground, blue in the face. You perform CPR, call the paramedics, do everything in your power to help her. But you know it's no use - she's clearly gone.

    When you get to the hospital, you're prepared to tell the medical staff not to put her on a ventilator. This was always her directive, you had discussed it together many times. She doesn't want to be hooked up to long-term life support, left as an empty shell to haunt the living.

    But the doctors don't even ask. You see, because your wife is pregnant, the hospital doesn't even give you a choice. DNR (do not resuscitate) orders are null and void when the woman is pregnant...



    http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/tex...tml?nopharma=1

    http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/ed...-munoz-die.ece

    Is this right? Should the state have the power to override a person's stated and documented wishes on medical decisions? Or, put more bluntly, should the state be permitted to force an unconscious, brain-dead person to be a baby incubator?
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I'll avoid all the angles about the state.

    Looks like they should change the form. The documented wishes were probably signed without this scenario in mind. Would a woman wish her death to mean the death of the baby she planned to keep and have? As the husband, that's what I'd consider, sort of a spirit of the last wish vs. letter of the last wish.

  3. #3
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    As a woman, I would want my husband to decide if he's up to raising what may well turn out to be a secial needs child by himself. I'd consider myself already dead. Who cares if the keep my body alive until the delivery?

  4. #4
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    If it was what we'd agreed to, I'd end it myself. Fuck the hosptial.

  5. #5
    sane in insane places kali's Avatar
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    It's super contradictory to legally allow abortion on pro-choice terms, but force a woman out of euthanization because she's pregnant. Same principle applies - her body, her choice. I think it becomes more morally grey when she's in the third trimester of pregnancy, but still.

  6. #6
    dormant jigglypuff's Avatar
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    her body is being seen/treated as merely an incubator, while she's already dead. disturbing.

    i think her wishes should be respected.

  7. #7
    sane in insane places kali's Avatar
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    So what happens after she gives birth?

  8. #8
    Amen P-O's Avatar
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    I don't see a need to prioritize the wishes of the dead over the wishes of the living. It's an interesting spot because the argument that people normally use for abortion doesn't apply (her body, her choice). I don't agree that it's her body anymore. It's a living corpse.

    Realistically I think it should be the dad's decision(or whoever has custody of the child). For this reason, I think the "her body her choice" argument isn't the right one to use, but rather we should say "fetuses don't have an intrinsic right to live"-- putting it bluntly.
    Clearly the legal system doesn't agree with me, which is why it's currently illegal to pull the plug. I think that if the primary argument supporting abortion is "her body, her choice", then it actually ought to be illegal to pull the plug; because the argument really has no force when the person doing the choosing is dead.
    Violence is never the right answer, unless used against heathens and monsters.

  9. #9
    if she's brain dead then "she" is already effectively dead so I don't see an issue with keeping her body alive long enough to deliver the baby and then disconnect life support.

  10. #10
    Shiny and New Charde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kali View Post
    It's super contradictory to legally allow abortion on pro-choice terms, but force a woman out of euthanization because she's pregnant. Same principle applies - her body, her choice. I think it becomes more morally grey when she's in the third trimester of pregnancy, but still.
    Yeah, when I read about this story a week or two ago, I thought it was absurd that legally she could have had an abortion if she had been conscious, but because she was brain-dead, the state insisted her body remain alive as an incubator. WTF is that about? At the time she went brain-dead, the baby was still within the legal window for abortion, but she's probably been kept alive 6-7 additional weeks at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by last_caress View Post
    if she's brain dead then "she" is already effectively dead so I don't see an issue with keeping her body alive long enough to deliver the baby and then disconnect life support.
    The problem IMO is that this should have been a parental decision and not a state decision, especially considering she was at the point in her pregancy where (even in freakin' Texas) she could have had a legal abortion when the incident occurred.

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