reply to post by Grimpachi
Thanks for the kind words. This place does get very frustrating at times and it's a real relief when I can just talk with someone. No fighting or
screaming. Disagreement sometimes, sure, but I'm surprised at how little disagreement there really is after a decent discussion. Thank you for
being willing to do that.
You've raised two excellent quesions. I don't think I have final answers, but if you'd like my thoughts . . .?
I do understand that people go through periods where death seems preferable than life I have experienced my share as well. I do think there is
a distinction to be made between suicidal tendencies and what one can expect for future quality of life. . . . I myself was gravely wounded where had
I known the full extent of my injuries probably would have wondered off in the confusion to bleed out but that is as close to this issue as I can
relate on a personal level.
You're right, of course. There is a difference, but I think there can be some overlap. The most obvious case
is a soldier with massive wounds. After, say, a year, he realizes that he doesn't want to live if he only has a few parts of his body left and is
constantly taking pain pills. Suicidal tendencies? Quality of life? I'm guessing that suicides are normally people who believe, rightly or
wrongly, that their quality of life is nonexistent and it will never improve.
I wonder, is the soldier the one who should make the decision? If he decides to end it and the doctor knows that in another year the soldier will be
able to live a "somewhat" normal life, should the doctor be able to stop him? Under current rules, if a mental health professional believes you are
a danger to yourself or others, you can be locked away for 3-5 days without any discussion at all. I believe, but am not sure, that the period can be
extended by court order for as long as the mental health system deems necessary.
My primary concern in this matter is the quality of life a child brought into the world under these circumstances can expect. It is my
understanding that in the past where children have been born at 23-24 weeks are called micro premise and their survivability has increased due to
medical advances but the survivability for before 24 weeks has not increased. Further concern is that those who have survived were brought into the
world with great care nothing like the procedure of an abortion which would be damaging to them in itself. Those at 24 weeks are expected to have
health problems however the earlier the procedure is done their development is far less complete.
I can't disagree substantially with
anything you say here. I'm not sure about survivability in the period 21-24 weeks, but that's a small point. (I believe the US record is 20 weeks
My question is at what point do we consider prolonging someone’s life as cruel and unusual.
Excellent question, but there are two
other questions in your one large one. I'm a little less interested right now about the question "At what point?" because people are going to
argue (as you've seen) over when the fetus should have human rights. Whatever point we end up agreeing on, that resolves the main question.
But I'm curious. Who is the "we" in "...at what point do we consider prolonging...?" Is it between the mother and the doctor only? Does
society have any say? When a child is older courts appoint a guardian ad litem
to represent the child's interests. Should we do that here?
Remember the soldier who can be legally locked up if there's reason to believe he'll hurt himself. We allow that in order to protect his life.
The other problem is determining "cruel and unusual." If a mother doesn't want a child with Down's syndrome, but there are adoptive couples who
do, can we stop the mother's decision to prevent the child's death?
As far as I know this threads issue is a theoretical one as another poster pointed out there are no cases of botched abortions where the fetus
lived outside the womb.
Dr. Kermit (I forgot the last name, starts with G) is currently on trial in Pennsylvania for killing seven children who got past the abortion and were
born alive. I don't know how far the children had developed. I am certain, however, that he is not the only one.
If I'm not addressing your questions, please give me another chance.