• Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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

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

  1. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    You have no choice but to be objective BEFORE you can classified something as a 'wrong'.

    We say 'robbery' is wrong because of A, B, and C. We analyzed the merits of personal property rights and the consequences of having those merits damaged, then we, as a society, declare that taking without just cause is a wrong.


    When we say 'the hospital', we already included the hospital's legal department in the discussion.

    Wrong...The hospital provides a service and as such, it has the right and obligation to have legal defense and in the course of that defense, it must present arguments as to why it may, not always, act contrary to the wishes of popular sentiments. The hospital, or the auto garage, or even your teacher, needs legal protection from those not willing to be objective. Once the hospital is assured that its arguments have been heard and granted legal immunity from potential, or even probable negative outcomes, then the hospital can act according to other's wishes.

    In any society that claims to be ruled by laws, this is the required process.

    That is a false understanding of laws in general principles. A law's job is to dictate. You can do 'this' but not 'that'. And so on...

    Laws in the US are not dictated to us. We are not a dictatorship, contrary to what you are used to. When you have a legislative body, parliament or congress, in theory any proposal is debated prior to enactment into a law.

    That said, laws should be reviewed and repealed if necessary but it should be done with caution. I will give you an example...

    If I drill into concrete, I have to possible outcomes: a round hole or cracked concrete.

    A round hole is the desirable result or the intended consequence. Cracked concrete is the unintended consequence and the benefit here is that this unintended consequence is known. Worst is when laws are made or amended with unintended consequences returns.

    Technology often outpaces the laws and unintended consequences are the often results. Surrogate motherhood is problematic. The current understanding is that the woman who gave birth is the mother. But that was before technology gave us better understanding of conception and genetics. So if all a woman did was to provide a womb for a genetic mother and father, is that woman the mother of the child or is the other woman, the one who provided the egg, the true mother? For ages, whoever gave birth is the mother, now because we can implant a fully fertilized egg from one woman into another woman's womb, who is the true mother? What if the birth woman refused to give up the child because she became emotionally attached to the child? Now we have a conflict between established belief versus technological capability. The unintended consequence is that emotional attachment and refusal to give up the child even though the woman who gave birth to the child have no genetic connections to the child.

    It is very easy to bring up issues like this to criticize US as incompetent or worse -- evil. But that speaks more about the critics' ignorance and nothing about US.
     
  2. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    ok

    ok
    Yes it does but defense against what when the husband asked the hospital to remove the wife from the machine...Who would sue the hospital when it was the husband's wishes? But even after hearing it is granted immunity (husband requesting hospital to remove the wife) whatelse did the hospital fear? Who apart from the husband who was in decision making position and had all right to request the hospital and hospital automatically got the immunity right there...where did the confusion occur?
    Alright then why do people get heartattacks when dictators dictate? They are the law or when police becomes a dictator they are the law too? Or when corruption happens at institutions that are the law: courts, police, army, dictator leaders??

    How often are the laws rechecked? Who is doing the checking?
    Sorry didnt quite get that
    The emotional attachment is proven in science due to hormones and other chemicals which cause the feeling and also you have a life in you for 9mths...unless you are heartless or couldnt care less, you will naturally grow emotional towards it esp if you are growing it in you....

    Man made laws confusion over nature is a normal thing which is being faced everywhere...Hence, I asked the questions I asked as a Biologist these come under a 1 module subject of ethical something....

    It may be ignorance to you because safety of 1 country led to chaos is a strip of nations! Which will be derailing so I will stop there..

    Thank you for the answers!
     
  3. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Lawsuits that could come from anywhere, even from outside the family. We can have pro-life extremists who cares nothing for science and reasonable thinking bring a lawsuit against the hospital in spite of family wishes. We can have internal conflicts inside the family itself where some wants to maintain life support but some do not. We can have the hospital opining purely on science but the family decides not based upon religious reasons, like this case in Canada...

    Sunnybrook case raises question of who decides life support | Toronto Star
    The hospital, the Canadian or Texas one, must have protection according to the laws in respective country.

    Because in a dictatorship, laws do not come from the people.

    Am curious. Do YOU prefers to live by having someone telling you how to live? Am asking nicely here.

    Laws are not periodically reviewed, even though they should be. Usually, and unfortunately, reviews of any law comes only when a situation contains factors that the law, as originally written, did not anticipate. The judge is then placed into a legal and moral bind because now he has to virtually go back in time and guess the spirit of the law before the spirit became the letter of the law and how the law became inadequate today.

    My intention was to show how there are unintended consequences, known and unknown. Unintended consequences are all over in everything we do.

    And this is where the laws regarding who is a 'mother' proved to be inadequate.

    Returning to the surrogate birth mother example. Technology allowed us to separate the fertilized egg from the womb and implant that egg into any woman. Were there any law that say we cannot implant that egg into any other woman? No, there were not. If there is no law, then there can be no crime. An act may be morally distasteful or even offensive. But until there is a law, that distasteful act cannot be prosecuted as a crime. So unless there was a law that say: [/i]'You cannot implant a fertilized egg into any other woman who was not the producer of that egg.'[/i], we can implant that egg as we see fit.

    Then we implanted the egg into another woman who then became emotionally attached to the child but who is not the genetic parent of that child and want to keep the child. So now we have a legal conflict between the genetic mother versus the surrogate birth mother. Who is the true mother? Do we place a higher value on emotional attachment over genes? In many cases, we already have where adoptive parents were granted greater legal authority over a child than the birth parents. The emotional bond between the adoptive parents and child trumped the genetic link that exist between the child and his/her genetic parents.

    This is not a criticism of the emotional attachment a woman may have for a child growing inside her and I think this is where you are mistaken. This is a discussion about how laws have proved to be inadequate in dealing with new technology.

    If you are in an Ethics module in your education, you are entering an intellectual minefield, my friend. It is intellectually stimulating and can be emotionally draining when you find your beliefs challenged in unexpected ways.
     
  4. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    No one likes it hence I was curious as to how Americans go about it...

    True

    ok

    Did this new "technology" to allow surrogate not go through legal screening? If yes, then how was this not thought of? If no, that is strange because I thought before anything is allowed it goes through legal screening, right?

    Oh it is not a problem with my beliefs it is my ethics that are challenging me....We are sometimes asked to swallow chunks of laws because they are there already and work our biology around these terms rather than present what we have and sit for a discussion of how the laws should either be modified if the technology is benefiting or the technology be modified if the law is solid...but sadly this doesnt occur...
     
  5. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    What is the real goal of technology? No, it is not about discovery of new knowledge. Like it or not, the goal of technology is much more selfish: Make my life easier.

    Surrogate birth mother, and that is using the word 'mother' loosely, is about making 'my' life easier. I want to have children but for some reasons, I cannot. So instead of living a childless life, I chose a certain technology that will allow me to 'rent' a womb for my genetic offspring. Easy, right? If there were no laws preventing me from 'renting' a womb, then it is natural that there were no laws regarding any kind of psychological screening of candidate wombs.

    Along the way of trying to make our lives easier, we discovered how to keep the body alive but failed the same for the brain. Now we have a legal conflict of our own creation. In the old days, if the person is unresponsive and have no pulse, he is biologically and legally dead. Then came CPR which allowed us to bring the person figuratively back from death, albeit within a very narrow time window, so now the definition of legal death is pushed back a little bit. Now we can keep the body function but next to no clues about the brain. So now how do we define legal death? Science takes the brain path, meaning if there are no brain functions, it is useless to keep the body functioning to support nothing. But religious people takes the spiritual and cosmic paths, meaning there is a 'soul' somewhere and that is enough for hope and to keep the container -- body -- functioning for as long as possible.

    The laws regarding what is legal death were of no help for those in a conflict that was not of their own making. The hospital is in a bind because it alone have the technical means to keep the body alive and no god came to its aid regarding the brain. The patient's religious family believes it is wrong to let the body 'die' because their religious beliefs demands no separation between body and brain. The body is the person. Not just the brain.

    If you are entering a career field where your thoughts and actions will have direct effects and contributions to the relationships between laws and technology, you must be actively engaging in ethics. In many ways, people who benefits from your technical skills also depends on you to lead them into safe moral and legal grounds when your products enters the market. Sadly enough, ethics as a study is only significant for a short time and we need more of young people like yourself to take the issue further.
     
  6. Chronos

    Chronos SENIOR MEMBER

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    Which is why Neuroscience still remain a great unexplore frontier in the sciences.

    Off topic, your username wouldn't be a tribute to a certain X men character would it?

    Many times, the social rules, mores, customs are often outpaced by technology.

    In many ways, large parts of the world are not yet ready for the day when labour intensive work will be redundant and more work which requires you to have independent, Individualistic thinking that requires creativity.

    Will be interesting to see their effect on societies that emphasizes conformity and group think.
     
  7. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Actually, my USAF friends called me that label long before the X-man character debut. I have always been fascinated by long range sensors, particularly radar even though my technical path took me to flight controls, and for a while I was reading a lot about satellite reconnaissance, especially these guys...

    KH-7 Gambit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The Space Review: Ike’s gambit: The development and operations of the KH-7 and KH-8 spy satellites (page 1)

    It was on a C-130 going from Upper Heyford to Zaragoza where my squadron mates 'officially' tagged me with that nickname when I was reading a heavily redacted analysis of Warsaw Pact forces and talking about how the Gambit series contributed, which no one in the aircraft was interested at that time.

    But I do like the X-man character regarding his powers. Too bad I do not have the first appearance issue of Gambit.
     
  8. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    True..If you can not justify how what you made will make human life easy it will not receive any funding hence research is sadly becoming a filthy field...where everything is all about money and like you said selfish nature being highlighted! There are fewer researchers who are curious to know as compared to the large body of those wanting to become famous using their invention ....

    I thought before any technology is credited "acceptable" it undergoes screening and is proposed a certain set of rules of how to govern it....like euthanasia, abortion, contraceptives and many other such "technologies"!
    Well, the brain is a complex organ with too many "wiring" to work on...One doesnt understand which to deal with first....while the body too is not fully understood so saying keeping the body alive is over generalization...Questions such as what is meant by "alive" can be asked...For some a brain dead is considerable dead as the brain controls all functions...While in this case the child was still being sustained by the body...
    Not true...they kept Sharon alive for longer than needed! I think a few other people are also kept alive on machines for extended periods of time hoping 1 day medicine will be advanced enough to "figure it out"....
    I thought the family was fighting to allow the body to die....along with the brain

    It is sad almost seems like they last until the classroom and have little to no practicality...
     
  9. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    Research for knowledge's sake is usually confined to really esoteric fields, like the collider to search for the Higgs-Boson particle. If anything comes out of this to make human lives easier, more likely your grandchildren will see it.

    There is only the peer review process. After that, we may have certain governmental directives enforced by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to rule that a certain product or set of medical procedures are reasonably safe. The peer review process and safety certification are more for technical issues than moral and legal ones.

    Take the simple CPR steps for example. There are virtually no laws governing who can use it and when to use it. But the procedures have been certified as safe and life saving and proved so many times over. But there are no laws that says if you found someone who needs it, you MUST use it or risk legal punishment.

    So put yourself in such a situation.

    Speculate...

    Your pregnant wife got into a car accident serious enough that only her body is 'alive', as long as medical efforts are sustained, but the hospital also informed you that based upon the best technical skills and knowledge they have, the fetus have at best 50/50 chance of survival, and if the child was lucky enough to survive the pregnancy and birth process, the severity of the mother's bodily injuries affected the child's development in the womb, giving him a 50/50 chance of normal growth in intelligence and physical being.

    You, as her legal guardian, chose to terminate life support, thereby letting both of them die naturally. But your wife's parents, your in-laws, decides to challenge your decision and takes you to court. The moment a legal challenged is issued, whether formally filed or not, even if the parents just had a verbal declaration of that challenge, the hospital in its legal self interests, will not obey your wish until it have legal protection from your in-laws. The in-laws argues that as long as technology can keep the child's growth in the womb, their grandchild deserves to be born. The hospital have no choice but to concede that they can sustain the fetus' development to full term, but whether the child deserves to be born or not is left up to others.

    This kind of situation is not that rare but it exists only where the technology is available. If the accident occurred in the backwoods of Afghanistan, you would not have the legal issues.

    I was not talking about THIS particular family.

    I was speaking in the abstract. But we do have legal and religious conflicts...

    Conflict at the end of life: what happens when doctors and families disagree? - Healthy Debate
    The doctors speaks for science while Parichehr Salasel speaks for religion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2014
  10. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    Well such research ends up making weapons of mass destruction in 1 way or another...
    Something as simple as an equation suddenly leads to the construction of a bomb and hence destruction of man kind ...that is way off topic....Plus not even my interest
    I believe they weight things more economically then safety....If the drug will be profitable you can almost be sure the 2 people it did kill out of 100 will be ignored...
    But isnt that covered by this law : "if you have the means to save a life and you dont use it then you will be charged as murder in 2nd degree" or something along those lines...

    That might be a little difficult as I am a woman...

    Honestly speaking I would be at doubt for having such a child....Esp if I wont be able to provide for him/her....
    Here that was not the case...
    Sorry to say that is slightly racist....because Afghan not only does not have such facilities, but life there has been challenged too many times to waste...So the situation isnt entirely the same...

    Of course not...Only Afghans...

    So was I for Sharon...in fact that case is more similar as Sharon was brain dead for years!
    Whatever they speak for....Freedom of choice is limited...and many cases have proved so!
     
  11. livingdead

    livingdead ELITE MEMBER

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    I think it is upto the husband to decide whether to kill the fetus.
    Anyway they have already taken her off life support.
     
  12. gambit

    gambit PROFESSIONAL

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    No drug is perfect. No medical procedures are 100% risk free. In most cases, be it drugs or medical procedures, there will always be someone with unique body chemistry that will produce reactions that cannot be anticipated. If we demand 100% perfection, then no advances will be made, not just in medicine but in everything in life.

    Let us take the automobile as analogy. Mercedes, BMWs, and Volvos have high reputations for being very safe cars. But there will always be someone who will either be so incompetent or reckless that he will get hurt in spite of the engineers' efforts to build very safe cars. Face it, YOU know someone in your neighborhood, family, or friends who are just simply so clumsy and/or non-coordinated that any car would be a weapon in their hands.

    No different with drugs. These are complex blends of chemical elements that must accommodate and anticipate diverse bodily chemistry and genetics that produces different reactions to many degrees. That is why it takes many years to bring to market a medicine because we conduct so many tests to try to tailor the drug to be as beneficial to as many people as possible. But there will always be someone who will have the right combination of genes that will reject the drug.

    Keywords search for you: 'good samaritan laws' and 'duty to rescue'.

    First of all...You cannot prosecute someone for murder or manslaughter for refusal to save someone else who was in danger. To charge someone with murder, you are saying that person is DIRECTLY responsible, meaning have an active role in planning and execution. Apathy is not good enough of a reason. For example...If I do not know how to swim, then how can I save a drowning man? If I have a fear of heights, then how can I climb a ladder to help someone in a burning house? Or even worse, if I just simply do not care? You cannot force someone to care. You can try to persuade, but not force.

    Second...If you try to enact laws to force someone to act, as in 'duty to rescue', then you are guilty of violating someone's rights to their person. If I jump in the river to try to save a drowning man, I may save him but I would also increase my risk of dying by drowning. You cannot force someone to risk his life for someone else's life. This is not the military.

    Try to put yourself in a woman's position anyway. It does help with perspectives and appreciation.

    No, it was not. But I was trying to expand the scope of the discussion by bringing in similar cases with the same conflict.

    No, it is not racist. I could have used the backwoods of China or the jungle tribes of South America. The point remains that in the absence of technology, decisions that requires moral reflections tends to be easier and quickly made. There is nothing racist about this fact.

    In the US, we have the Terri Schiavo case where her husband wanted to withdraw life support but her family objected...

    Terri Schiavo case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Note the highlighted. Her husband wanted to terminate life support but her parents objected. Legally speaking, her husband is the IMMEDIATE legal guardian and therefore his decision takes precedence, meaning over anyone else's, even over her family.

    My point is that it is easy to blame the hospital, a third party, for any emotional distress suffering by the family. The hospital is made to be impersonal -- the hospital. Never mind that inside the hospital there are doctors, nurses, and administrators who are human beings and they do feel for both patient and family. But they also have other burdens such as other patients and the financial costs of medical procedures. So in order to protect themselves, they have no choice but to NOT listen to the legal guardian when there are legal challenges to whatever the legal guardian wants to do. They do not know how the court will rule. What if they withdraw life support, the patient dies, the family fought among themselves in court, and the ruling turn in favor of the parents, who wanted to continue life support? Now they have no daughter.

    You can argue that the woman is clinically brain dead and therefore nothing but a 'vegetable', as the word is usually used to describe such people, but as far as the parents are concerned, there is a chance Terri will 'wake up' and as long as that chance exists, all medical efforts must be expended to keep her body alive. If Terri's parents did not put up any legal challenges despite their beliefs that Terri was brain alive over medical opinions that says brain dead, then the hospital would have obeyed the husband's wishes and withdraw life support.

    When it comes to emotionally charged and legally complex issues like this, most people would rather blame, or at least criticize 'the hospital' and be done with it, rather than take the time to see if the hospital have any legitimate arguments to support what it does in the face of legal challenges.
     
  13. Dubious

    Dubious MODERATOR

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    true but we are not really talking about that 1% that comes in possible side effects :unsure:
    Never gave it a thought....So far havent really met such a person at least not in my family or family friends....however there was a colleague who was delusional to think he was F1 driver
    We have jumped far off the topic...I am talking about "latest" technologies concerning life like implants, life support or surrogate....
    That is why that law says in the 2nd degree...
    These are not related to the topic at hand....The topic is not about a person but a hospital, a set of rules and a patient...

    However this is what happened in this very case....The hospital made it their duty to "rescue" the fetus!

    I did....coz I am a woman...I said in my 1st post about importance of life...However I also spoke with respect to the case which is unfair esp when the entities directly involved (husband, wife, family of the couple) never wanted her to be on life support what made the hospital play the "duty to rescue card?"

    Yes but the examples you gave did not have the consent of the directly involved to remove her of the machines...My only question was what made the hospital exercise duties it did not have?

    You could have used something from America itself and this case is presenting itself as a very example!
    That is a different case...Everything cant be brushed with the same brush hence I asked where were the lawyers of the hospital?
    You are comparing this with a different case....In this particular cases instance even the direct family (parents, in laws) everyone wanted her off the machines....everyone but the hospital...Plus the financial costs was not the hospitals responsibilities but the patient's and the insurance....Why cant you for once say yes the hospital was wrong....Not everything that is bound to law is correct ...Not everything in America is correct.....Things do go wrong, its human nature like the doctors and lawyers who made the choice to sustain a deformed fetus!
    This is not Terri's case...I am not interested in every case dealt by America! If Terri's parents think so ...then that be a separate case not in this case where her parents also agreed to pull the plug...Then what did the doctors feared? Fanatics? I mean everyone directly involved with Munoz wanted her off the machine!
    The hospital in Munoz's case didnt have any whatsoever legitimate arguments..The only fear they prob could have was from some critics but then again they are facing the something now too...
    @gambit
    Thank you for your time...