Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.

Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:11 am


...over forced life-support in Texas
Lawyers for relatives of Marlise Munoz, who is 20 weeks pregnant and hooked to a ventilator, plan legal action over Texas law requiring life support until fetus can be delivered. Her parents and husband say they want to unhook the machines keeping her brain-dead body alive.

Read more here

Opinions?
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby tatpurusa » Mon Jan 13, 2014 12:25 pm

Absurd.
Just let her die in peace.
tatpurusa
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:17 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:49 pm

20 weeks (~5 months) is getting close to "late term" as far as abortions go.
If the kid's viable, then I say "give it a chance".
Either way, this guy's not winning "father of the year" any time soon...
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby Seishin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:08 pm

I agree they should have been given a choice, but at the same time I would condemn anyone who would allow their child to die if there was a chance to save them.

Gassho,
Seishin
User avatar
Seishin
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1416
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:53 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:01 am

From my furry POV, I see several critical and complex issues for this family...

1. The age old debate:
a. Does one have legal rights over one's own body? To what extent? When does life start and end?
b. And does a pregnancy mean that those legal rights are suspended fully in favour of a foetus over that of the woman carrying it, where its legal rights are limited in the US (re-Roe vs Wade), in this case, the State of Texas, and nearly non-existent outside of the US?
c. In this case, another subtle distinction occurs as the woman is brain dead, and legally and medically, that means just dead.
So, the next consideration: is one who's legally and medically dead have full legal rights?
d. With the notion of limited rights for the foetus, would a naturally terminated pregnancy (as this case seems to be due to the unfortunate circumstance of the dead mother who can no longer support the pregnancy) necessarily mean the same as intrusion on those limited rights?

2. What about respecting the last testament of the dead woman, who has already in mind that if she has to be put on life support, to forget it?
Both herself and husband are paramedics and both are of the same mind with their families that putting either one of them on life support is a not an option.
So, if the state insists on persisting on using the dead woman's body as an incubator until 24 weeks and/or beyond, is that not disrespecting and disregarding her last testament?

3. The family doesn't have much choice but to follow the state law which stipulates that they can only pull the plug, in this case due to a pregnancy, after the testing by 24 weeks, to ascertain if the foetus will survive, which at time of brain death, it's about 20 weeks. Now mind you, the woman already suffered oxygen deprivation for an hour, if that is fatal for her, I should think the foetus will also share this malady. So, they have to wait.
But question is: who is going to pay for the tab? The state or the family?

4. Even if the foetus survives to full term and gets born, there's a high chance of risk of the incubator body failing even with the plug on and/or disability resulting from the precarious situation. Now, who's going to foot the tab for this post natal occurrence, since the family is already gung ho on pulling the plug?

5. With all of the above points in mind:
a. What would the Teaching & Discipline recommend?
b. What can a Buddhist do?
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:15 am

plwk wrote:b. And does a pregnancy mean that those legal rights are suspended fully in favour of a foetus over that of the woman carrying it, where its legal rights are limited in the US (re-Roe vs Wade), in this case, the State of Texas, and nearly non-existent outside of the US?


Not even close to true....

wiki wrote:As of 1998, among the 152 most populous countries, 54 either banned abortion entirely or permitted it only to save the life of the pregnant woman.

In addition, another 44 of the 152 most populous countries restricted abortions after a particular gestational age: 12 weeks (Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Norway (additional restrictions after 18 weeks), Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Yugoslavia), 13 weeks (Italy), 14 weeks (Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, Germany, Hungary, and Romania), 18 weeks (Sweden), viability (Netherlands and to some extent the United States), and 24 weeks (Singapore and Britain).

...

Some countries, like Canada, China (Mainland only) and Vietnam have no legal limit on when an abortion can be performed.

reference: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2405698.pdf
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:36 am

Hence, dearie, I used 'nearly' and not none.
54 and 44 is hardly 'impressive' out of 152. Some sources note that there are 196 countries, unless Taiwan is excluded...
The UK is not even on that list lol
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:59 am

plwk wrote:Hence, dearie, I used 'nearly' and not none.
54 and 44 is hardly 'impressive' out of 152. Some sources note that there are 196 countries, unless Taiwan is excluded...
The UK is not even on that list lol


That's 98 out of 152 (actually 96 given UK and S'pore), more than a majority.
152 is the most populous, not too worried about countries with less than 1 million people.
Hardly accurate to say "nearly non-existent outside of the US" when it's a majority of the most populous nations.
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:42 am

It's a pun statement dearie, no Holy Year indulgences attached for getting it right :tongue:
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:38 am

plwk wrote:It's a pun statement dearie, no Holy Year indulgences attached for getting it right :tongue:

Now I'm confused. :)
Sorry, just a little touchy, coz of 2 kids of my own.
Not sure if that was a jab at my Catholic upbringing, but that really has very little to do with my opinion on this. We're not talking about a shrimp-looking zygote at this point. By 20 weeks, it's got fingers, toes, scalp pattern, gender, and is somewhat aware of its surroundings...
Here's a video that goes into specifics of what a 20-week-old is capable of: http://bcove.me/in5i3lkm


Here's a baby born at 24 weeks:
Image


In fact the earliest premature birth on record is 21 weeks, and he's a teenager now:
http://www.canada.com/topics/bodyandhea ... ca80f61bdc
Image


Here's another 21 week early bird, currently doing well:
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/17237979/#.UtTnh55dUQM
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:40 am

I've some memories looking at those pics and got some vested personal interest in issues like this. If my mom heeded that doctor's advice years ago, 'plwk' would not be typing this, not that my relatives wanted me around anyway. And from an ex Catholic to another, for all of the abhorrence I have for the Church, their pro life stand to some extent did save me via my mom's convent school years, never mind she turned Protestant.

But I can never imagine myself in the shoes of this family in the case. It's horrible that this would happen to anyone and even now as a Buddhist, it's not easy to answer such traumatic life dramas as a bystander much less if it hits one's own family...may they be well and happy...
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:42 pm

plwk wrote:I've some memories looking at those pics and got some vested personal interest in issues like this. If my mom heeded that doctor's advice years ago, 'plwk' would not be typing this, not that my relatives wanted me around anyway. And from an ex Catholic to another, for all of the abhorrence I have for the Church, their pro life stand to some extent did save me via my mom's convent school years, never mind she turned Protestant.

But I can never imagine myself in the shoes of this family in the case. It's horrible that this would happen to anyone and even now as a Buddhist, it's not easy to answer such traumatic life dramas as a bystander much less if it hits one's own family...may they be well and happy...

:good:

I probably shouldn't be so quick to judge, but as a father, I can't imagine not doing everything in my power to help that baby.
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:13 am

Update here

Anitya, duhkha, anatman, nirvana
plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby PorkChop » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:38 am

plwk wrote:Update here

Anitya, duhkha, anatman, nirvana


Thanks for the update...
The husband's lawyers did say the baby was "distinctly abnormal", whatever that means...
User avatar
PorkChop
 
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:17 pm

Re: Family of brain-dead pregnant woman will sue

Postby plwk » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:22 am

plwk
 
Posts: 2720
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am


Return to Ethical Conduct

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

>