Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Constituonal Amendment

The problem with the pro life amendment that
has been desired by us anti abortion people, is that it
doesn't go far enough. Simply affirming the fact
that life begins "at conception" will not, in the present
legal and social environment protect the unborn.

Firstly, "conception" though it originally and properly
refers to the joining of egg and sperm, has been
redefined to mean the implantation of the conceptus
in the womb wall. This doesn't occur for a couple of
days, and leaves the door open for the morning after

It also means that potentially, an in vitro fertilization
that has never been implanted in a womb, could be
declared not conceived, ergo can be produced at will
for production of materials and experimentation.

Secondly, the mere fact of being human will not in
itself prevent its being killed in an "ethical" way. The 
Journal of Bioethics has a paper that argues that a
newborn is no more of a person than a fetus and
therefore even a healthy child should be possible to
kill up to three years old, just like
a healthy fetus (or embryo) can be killed at the will of
the mother. As an opponent pointed out, such discussions
were the beginning of what later became policy in
medical "ethics." Bill Gates has said that if you euthanise
an old person you save money to pay a teacher advocating
death panels.  The supposed Obama death panels are a
joke, because they already exist under free enterprise
medical billing and insurance. What will your insurance
pay for or not? If you go for an expensive treatment, or
agree to be put on special life support, are you setting
yourself or your family up to lose the house to a bill
collection lawsuit later when you or they can't pay? Peter
Singer has advocated killing kids up to three years old.

The creep towards euthanasia is another example.
This is an argument that began on the battlefield and
should have stayed there. Plato phrased the problem
well, if my friend is dying slowly in horrible pain from
war and I don't kill him am I not being a bad friend,
but if I do kill him am I not being a murderer? This
is a paraphrase from memory, and as I recall he did
not answer the question.

The definition of death became "brain death" and
that defined NOT as total cessation of brain activity,
but as "higher functions" of the brain not active. The
life supporting systems still functioning, the person
was declared dead.

Why? Well, who gains? In what context was this decision
made? Heart transplants. This definition meant that a
still beating heart could be taken out, because the heart,
after the brain, is the first organ to die. It has to be fresh,
and I do mean fresh.

Ethics used to be based on the idea of, when do we say
NO to someone's desire or need, because it conflicts with
someone else's more important need or issues of fairness?
Nowdays, ethics is about figuring out how to make the
unthinkable respectable.

For instance, if you have a limited amount of life support
you don't take someone off because someone else needs it,
first come first served.

There is the principle of triage, developed in military
hospitals. Nowdays it just means who gets seen first in the
emergency room, but here is what it really means, the
three (the "tri" in triage) categories.

1. Those who will die, even if treated. These get no
treatment, because resources are scarce. They get pain
killers, that's it.

2. Those who will live, even if NOT treated. These get
no treatment either, because resources are scarce. (This
scarcity may be because they are actually scarce, or
there is not enough because of the number of casualties.
Resources may incl. not only medicine and equipment
but personnel.)

3. Those who will live, if treated. These are the ones who
get treated.

Now, on that basis, you might argue for taking someone
off life support who is comatose and put someone who
has a better chance of life on. MAYBE.

Now, we get to redefinitions again.

What is a coma? Originally this meant someone who was
totally unconscious, without motion, like dead asleep, no
responses. Usually breathing and heart beating on their

Nowdays a person can be considered comatose who is
vaguely conscious, slightly moving, slightly responsive.

"Persistent vegetative condition," is defined in exactly the
terms that described Terri Schiavo. I noticed that in the
arguments to save her, the description given by her
supporters meets every common sense depiction of not
passing for a humanoid form of plant life, but I notice
also, that it was precisely the same description as the
medical industry calls "persistent vegetative condition."

In other words, the definition of these conditions, has
been increasingly changed to mean a person who is NOT
vegetative or comatose by original or common sense
meaning of the words.

Someone once asked if we are eventually going to hear of
"oxygenated corpses."

And some people who were organ donors, were not dead
and not comatose even by modern standards, but were
reacting and putting up a fight, grabbing the hand with the
scalpel, but were put down anyway.

The Hyde Amendment doesn't go far enough.

What is needed is stipulation that life begins at the joining of
egg and sperm, whether it implants or not.

That human life cannot be terminated regardless of
citizenship or other issues without a court hearing, and that
the reason for this termination must be threat to the life
of the mother, and that she must also be sterilized to prevent
this from happening again.

And that death is when the heart won't function any more.

And that coma and vegetative conditions are not in themselves
grounds for termination.

And that anyone in these circumstances, incl. a pregnant
woman in special care or a premie cannot be made to pay
for these services, nor anyone who signs them in or has any
possible legal or financial responsibility for them in other
circumstances, on the grounds that withholding or stopping
the treatment constitutes murder, so you cannot charge to
not murder.

No comments:

Post a Comment