Stages of life that are disposable

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2008
Stages of life that are disposable
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Sat, 01-26-2008 - 9:46pm

For me, pre birth, z/e/f, unborn baby, whatever you want to call us before we are born.... it is a stage of the life we live.

 "Pascal's Wager," which states that believing in God costs you nothing if you're wrong, and wins you everything if you're right.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 12:03am

I see it as a one-way developmental road. We never get younger and younger, eh?

The progress from ordinary to extraordinary, from private to worthy of public protection, from live cells that have no rights to live cells that have legal rights - it's a slow gradual process.

An ovum is a special cell, but not worthy of special legal rights. A conceptus is magic, but not worthy of legal protection. (IVF couples - all their blastocysts - oughtn't the couples have the right to determine what becomes of them?) The more and more that the embryo develops, the more special it gets. The loss of a 4 week embryo is less devastating than the loss of an 18 week fetus. By 24 weeks, I consider that the fetus has individuated enough to merit its own legal protection. It's still not as special as a born person, though - in the situation of risk to the life of the mother no one ever suggests that the fetus should take precedence except at her behest.

And from there, there's no looking back. Euthanasia oughta be available to any adult who is mentally competent and has the option of full-on treatment for pain or any other disease state.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2008
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 12:14am

Based on what you have explained - important/special or not important/not special, would that negate that a person who is all alone in the world with no family, no friends, no love, is less important?

 "Pascal's Wager," which states that believing in God costs you nothing if you're wrong, and wins you everything if you're right.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 12:28am

Personally, when we consider gestation and the life of a human being outside the womb, I think that the two are apples and oranges.

An infant does not have the same rights that a full-fledged adult does, despite what many may argue. For the vast majority of situations, parents can determine the level of care their child receives with little input or voice from anyone else. Only if they are proven to be neglectful or harmful in their child's care can they be held accountable for that level of care.

It doesn't stop with physical care, either. A child may decide that he or she would like to go to a different school, open a savings account at a different bank, or have different rules at home. But the child does not have the right (or the ability) to force these issues, particularly in a legal sense. The child, by him or herself, cannot drop out of school, close or open a bank account, or find a new home without a parent's or guardian's permission and support in that endeavor.

And yet the infant/child is considered a human being worthy of protection by the state. That is why it is totally different for an adult to demand the euthanasia of another adult over whom they do not have power of attorney than for a parent to demand treatment for a minor child (or a woman to demand treatment for an unborn fetus). The adult has gained full recognition and status in the eyes of the law, while a fetus or minor child has not.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2006
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 1:44am

~For me, pre birth, z/e/f...~


~Many believe that ultimately euthanasia will come into the picture - and it won't only be choices regarding gestation of our own offspring, but termination of our elderly and handicapped.~


In a way we already have forms of euthanasia, in that we sometimes withdraw treatment and/or life support, opting instead to focus on providing comfort until and through the process of death.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2006
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 2:05am

I understand what you mean.


As an aside, personally, I'm pro-choice but I

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2006
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 10:08am

"Here is the question - especially for those who are PC. Many believe that ultimately euthanasia will come into the picture - and it won't only be choices regarding gestation of our own offspring, but termination of our elderly and handicapped."

z/e/f can be aborted because they don't have full rights as a person until they are born. Are you saying you think that legal personhood will be taken away from the elderly or physically handicapped in the future? That would take tremendous changes in the definition in personhood and a tremendous amount of legal manipulation. I can't see how something like this could realistically ever be passed.

"What other stages and conditions are human lives to be terminated by choices made by those other than the one's the life actually belongs to? "

None, this would be a violation of human rights for anyone who posseses them. Other than the case where a person is braindead or on life support where they can't make these decisions for themself. Even then a person who has a DNR order can pass on without any attempts to bring them back, because of a decision they previously made, so they still have quite a bit of control. And in those cases where there isn't a DNR and that person is only living due to life support that is a time when the family will have to decide for them.

And btw I fully support euthenasia for those who are terminally ill and wish to cease treatment. I don't think that person should be forced to hang on while their body goes through tremendous pain and their family suffers when it is only a matter of time. But I think this is a decision only that person can make for themself.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 10:22am

re: euthanasia decided by others... I had thought that my answer was implicit in my post. I don't believe that medical decisions should be made for a competent adult by any other. For an incompetent adult, there are standards already in place to allow a healthcare proxy or adult child to make decisions such as whether to proceed with surgery or undertake certain treatments. In the event of any decision, every effort is made to have that decision reflect the will of the incapacitated adult as best as it can be communicated or extrapolated. The more serious the decision, the more closely that process is scrutinized. This is the current situation in American medicine. This process includes end-of-life decisions like removing life support or late stage cancer treatment.

I would support the extension of this into a situation in which an adult offspring could indeed make a decision for euthanasia for their parent, but only with compelling evidence from before the deterioration of the parent that this is what they would have chosen. The machinery to keep it on the up-and-up is already in place, and my own experience both as a person who has lost loved ones and as a person who has been a part of the hospital team I think we need to allow this mercy. Especially in this day and age in which a person's life can be mechanically extended far past their dignity or ability to express their own wishes. Sometimes the removal of support without the ability to actively grant peace leaves an excrutiating period of limbo that does no one any good. Waiting, in pain, to die is not always graceful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 10:23am

For me, being a zygote, embryo or fetus are stages set apart by the very nature of the unique short and long term risks that their continued existence place upon the host . In no other stage of life are the neonate, infant, toddler, preschooler, child, 'tween, pre-teen, teenager, young adult, middle ager, or senior citizen found deep inside of a woman's womb presenting her with a myriad of risks, burdens, and sacrifices that she may be in opposition to assuming. In order to grant rights to z/e/f's at that stage of life, you must deny women the essential rights over their healthcare- and since gestation and childbirth can leave long-lasting effects on a woman that range far wider than simply her repoructive system- ie: urinary tract, digestive system, endocrine, nervous, circulatory, etc; she absolutely retains the right to make choices in this instance.

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Only under previously written and legally binding Advanced Directives.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2007
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 10:36am

re: the whole specialness thing, I feel like you missed the major thrust of my position, which is that it's a grey scale analog development, not a discrete digital state, on or off. I don't feel that the story of the boy dying alone is relevant, as his state of development isn't affected by his social surroundings.

Seriously, do you consider a 4 week embryo to have exactly the same moral weight in your eyes as your son? Do you mourn the loss of each identically? When you decide that the product of a rape can be aborted, why do you choose the woman over the embryo? Isn't that a decision that although both embryo and woman are special, one is more so than the other?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2008
Sun, 01-27-2008 - 10:54am

Based upon your post, I must ask, do you support minors recieving abortions without parental consent?

 "Pascal's Wager," which states that believing in God costs you nothing if you're wrong, and wins you everything if you're right.

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