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It’s Unethical To Keep Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman On Life Support

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Dubious, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Home / Commentary / It’s Unethical To Keep Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman On Life Support
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    Credit: Fox News
    It’s Unethical To Keep Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman On Life Support
    Posted by: Shayne Black in Commentary January 23, 2014 , 2:44 am

    In case you haven’t been following along, Texas has been keeping a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support with the intent of bringing her baby to term, and the situation just took a new twist as details were released on the condition of the fetus.

    In November, Marlise Munoz suffered a pulmonary embolism and collapsed. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time. Now her husband, Eric Munoz, is in a legal battle with the hospital and the state as he wishes to remove his wife from life support and allow the fetus to die. In spite of the fact that Mrs. Munoz was clear that she did not want to be kept alive by machines, the hospital is claiming their hands are tied due to a law forbidding them from removing a pregnant mother from life support.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Munoz’s lawyers released a statement detailing the abnormal condition of the fetus, which includes lower extremities deformed to the extent that the gender cannot be determined, hydrocephalus (water on the brain), and a possible heart problem.

    On Friday, the court battle begins, which will likely reach the Texas Supreme Court before ending.

    This situation is quickly showing how unethical and immoral the ‘right to life at all costs’ position truly can be in extreme situations such as this one.

    For starters, the hospital claims it is bound by law to carry the fetus to term; however, this is not exactly true. The Texas Advance Directives Act—the statute which the hospital is claiming to be bound by—is strictly a liability statute. In other words, if the hospital abides by the directives of the statute and brings the fetus to term, the hospital is granted full civil, criminal, and administrative immunity in the event of a lawsuit. If the hospital makes the ethical choice and honors the wishes of both Mr. and Mrs. Munoz by removing Mrs. Munoz from life support, they are simply on their own in the case of any legal suits that may arise.

    To further complicate the situation, the Texas Advance Directives Act only applies to patients, and Mrs. Munoz is arguably no longer a patient, as Mr. Munoz’s lawsuit against the hospital argues, due to the fact that she is technically dead, her body merely preserved by machines.

    How horrific that the hospital and the state of Texas wish to keep Mrs. Munoz’s brain-dead body hooked up to machines another five months, at a potential cost of $10,000 or more a day, for the sole purpose of incubating a fetus that at best will be highly deformed and abnormal and at worst won’t even make it to term. What quality of life can possibly come from this situation?

    Let’s just hope the courts act swiftly and justly and turn Mrs. Munoz’s body over to her family rather than allow her lifeless body to become the subject of an unethical science experiment.


    It's Unethical To Keep Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman On Life Support | Firebrand Progressives

    Life is being talked about...A very confusing state indeed!
     
  2. Secur

    Secur THINK TANK CHAIRMAN: ANALYSTS

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    The quality of life and subsequent debate for euthanasia is one of the foremost problems in medical ethics . Its very hard actually to justify , support or condemn any of this .
     
  3. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    True...In Pakistan and middle east life is being killed...while the West are confused of ending life situation....

    Sometimes one has to wonder what is wrong with the world..No one is Ever satisfied and always seeking some mischief :unsure:

    In this particular case, she never wanted to be held with machines, the husband doesnt want it...The fetus is not normal...yet the state/ law says so...
     
  4. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    This is a case of the law being incompetent at dealing with life, often because technology outpaces the laws.
     
  5. Skull and Bones

    Skull and Bones BANNED

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    The hospital should have an immunity against legal proceedings, they really don't have any other way out.
     
  6. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    And because of this "immunity" they are raising an abnormal fetus and going to make the father who doesnt want it support it? And how will he be able to deal with it? What about the fetus...will it have any hope to survive and if yes, unwanted is a bad feeling growing up with!

    In the process they failed to acknowledge the brain dead woman's last wish to not be attached to machines...

    All because the hospital wants immunity! Sad how their need is more important then the patients...
     
  7. Cherokee

    Cherokee SENIOR MEMBER

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  8. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    The problem is the current bipolar attitude we have about the fetus.

    For now, the majority of Americans believes the fetus is a legal human being. But then precisely because the fetus is so completely dependent upon another human being -- a host -- to survive in ways that even children do not, there is a LEGAL conflict between host and dependent.

    If a child is abandoned, as emotionally and psychologically traumatic as possible, physically speaking, the child can and will be cared for by others. The emotional and psychological wounds will heal. But we cannot (yet) do the same for a fetus and this put the hospital in particular and society in general, in moral and legal binds. In order to protect the hospital from any legal liability, the hospital must be assured by the family and the legal system that removing the mother -- host -- from life support, thereby killing the fetus -- dependent -- in the process, and that assurance must be consensual and unanimous. Absent that assurance, the hospital really have no choice but to continue a technical process that inevitably put them in a negative moral light.
     
  9. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Well, I am not sure about cared for others...America doesnt exactly have the best state owned health care in such dept esp abandoned children....
    2ndly, moral and legal binds are a little crooked right now as the husband has consented and wants them to remove it but i @Cherokee has posted they will remove her...so the thread serves no purpose!
     
  10. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Why should health care be state responsibility to start? What make you think that just because something is government run, it is automatically superior in quality and quantity? There are plenty of horror stories about socialized health care as practiced in dozens of countries just as there are horror stories about the free market health care system as practiced by US.

    If the government manages your health care, then by natural extension of health care, the government have the right to dictate to you how to live your life, everything from what you eat, drink, and eventually to what you are in the greater scheme of your society.

    Is that what you are looking for?
     
  11. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    it is the case with Sultanates....

    The people's welfare should come from the taxes they paid
    Why are we derailing?
    No but isnt that already happening? The law was to keep the fetus alive? I am honestly a little confused now...
     
  12. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    The discussion is related when you brought on socialized health care.

    No, it is not happening. Currently, we have a conflict of interests where the mother have one advocate and the fetus have his own advocate regarding continuation of life. That is not the same as the government dictating to me how to live my life.
     
  13. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Sorry on my part...Ok then I hope it is fine to discuss this as this issue is interesting for me who has not been in such an environment...However if you feel I am derailing let me know, I will open a separate thread for it...

    How is it different? The govt dictates a number of things which everyone has been oblivious to because it has become a norm but to me who is not from such a background it is new, interesting and sometimes shocking :)
    A new level of curiosity brings questions to my mind..
     
  14. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    No need to apologize. It is related no matter what.

    The difference is philosophical, and the philosophy is the degree of intrusion into a person's life.

    Yes, a government have no choice but to intrudes into a person's life in order to perform certain functions. Take national defense, for example. The state can either persuade or coerce you into military service. I may object to coercion but if the government make sufficiently a compelling argument, like showing me a map where the enemy is massing at the borders, then I will agree to persuasion. On the other hand, since the enemy is massing at the borders, the state may consider persuasion to take too long and resort to coercion instead.

    What we have here are two biologically distinct human beings but the problem lies in the dependency of one (fetus) upon the other (mother). We have laws that intrudes to some degrees into both human beings. Since the mother is incapable of making informed decisions, the burden of speaking for her felled upon her closest emotional tie: her husband and next her family. We also have another set of laws designed to protect those who cannot speak for themselves, which in this case falls upon both mother and fetus. So now the legal burden to speak for mother and fetus apparently is upon one person who wears both hats: the man who is husband and father.

    Now...The hospital interpreted, rightly or wrongly, a law that according to its administrators demands the hospital to defend the mother and fetus in ways that are contrary to the husband/father wishes.

    This is the law the hospital referenced...

    TEX HS. CODE ANN. § 166.049 : Texas Statutes - Section 166.049: PREGNANT PATIENTS
    The 'person' in this case is the hospital. If a car accident or disease killed a pregnant woman then we have no one to hold accountable. No one to blame, or in other words, no one to cast a moral judgement upon. But in this case, a mother was able to gain access to someone -- hospital -- who can sustain her basic life functions, so the hospital interpreted, rightly or wrongly, that to remove life support could be construed as murder. The law, as cited by the hospital, gave no margins for exceptions, and as anyone can see, the hospital is rightly defensive -- based upon the letter of the law.

    This is nothing but a conflict of interpretations of laws in a very specific situation that may or may not occur for all citizens, not of a government telling me or you how to live your life in general.
     
  15. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    However, the husband's case was somewhat like since my wife is brain dead she is no longer the hospital's patient in legal terms...hence hospital shouldnt have exercised or should I say force...

    You are trying to be objective but in terms of such a case it is really difficult to say...if the state was wrong say so, if the law was wrong say so, if the hospital was wrong say so...Why hang in the middle?? How is one supposed to function when you get stuck in the middle all the time? A wrong is a wrong by calling it ok doesnt make it a right :unsure:

    My question is where were the lawyers of the hospital? I think the hospital was more defensive on this account because currently there are issues on abortion...and had the hospital acted in 1 way or the other it would have made headlines anyway either as unethical as keeping a brain dead pregnant woman against her husband's wishes and raising a deformed fetus or as unethical for not giving support to the fetus of a brain dead pregnant woman

    In such a case the law should be checked and it should only interfere where need be ...like if she was not brain dead and her husband wanted to get rid of the fetus or had she not said she didnt want machines then the hospital could have given the husband a choice...You see it falls on the husband in the end ...the Hospital's job is to advice not take action and force...

    The law's job is to provide options not dictate...otherwise it is not actually serving the purpose of freedom that America so boldly parades on and it would look more like laws of Asia :unsure:

    It is almost as if since people of America dont criticize their laws enough and accept the law to dictate them, the politicians think they should do the same to other countries :undecided: (my personal point of view)