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Hullabaloo


Sunday, January 05, 2014

 
What's the incubator got to say about it?

by digby

Via Think Progress:
Marlise Munoz, a paramedic from Texas, lost consciousness right before Thanksgiving. Doctors don’t know exactly what happened, but they suspect that a blood clot to her lungs may have cut off her oxygen supply. By the time her husband got her to a hospital, she had gone too long without oxygen. Munoz was pronounced brain dead.

Munoz’s husband, Erick, also works as a paramedic. The couple frequently came into contact with emergency situations, and Munoz tragically lost her own brother several years ago to a serious accident. Erick Munoz says they had several conversation about end-of-life care, and his wife always told him she never wanted to be kept alive by a machine.

But thanks to Texas law, Munoz’s husband is not currently able to fulfill her wishes. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when she lost consciousness, and that pregnancy is now about 19 weeks along. Texas does not permit life-sustaining procedures to be withheld or withdrawn from a pregnant woman, even if she has a living will that stipulates she doesn’t want to remain on life support, so doctors are keeping Munoz hooked up to a ventilator.

According to a 2012 report from the Center for Women Policy Studies, Texas is one of 12 states that automatically invalidate women’s end-of-life wishes if she is pregnant. Those state laws ensure that “regardless of the progression of the pregnancy, a woman must remain on life-sustaining treatment until she gives birth.”
I don't think people are thinking this through. This brings up a very interesting idea. There are unused uteri all over the place that could be implanted with snowflake babies. Sure, there are the so-called "wishes" of the birthing vessel itself, but if a brain dead incubator is solely the property of the state to do with as it pleases, what is? (Heck, there's still a highly contentious debate as to whether these incubators should be allowed to make this decision when they're still conscious!) And who's to say they couldn't privatize the program and let the market decide?

Think about it. There would be no worries about whether the vessel drank the wrong thing or ate the wrong thing or did something to endanger the precious snowflake. It can't move! What could be more perfect?


Update: In more news about incubator policy check out what's happening in Spain:
The Spanish government has approved restrictions on abortions, allowing the procedure only in case of rape or serious risk to mother’s health. Outraged opposition and women rights activists say the law will take women’s rights back to the 1980s.

The law is yet to be passed by the parliament where the ruling party has a majority, but Spain’s Justice Minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardon said in his traditional post cabinet press conference that it is almost sure to happen.

The legislation puts a stop to the women’s rights to terminate their pregnancy in the first 14 weeks. Plus, the women won’t be able to have an abortion if the fetus is found to be malformed.

According to the legislation, the only reasons making the abortion possible are if the woman’s health is under threat by the continuing pregnancy, or if she had been raped.

Moreover, in the case of any hazard to health, the woman will have to provide a paper signed by two specialists to prove her case.

As for younger girls under 18 years old, they will need permission from their parents to abort – something that the previous government got rid of in 2010.

Currently, the legislation allowed abortions without any restriction until the 14th week of pregnancy and up to 22 weeks if the fetus is shown to be seriously deformed.
 Who says you can't ever go back, eh?

Update II: It isn't just Spain.  Read this hair raising story about what's happening elsewhere in Texas by Lindsay Beyerstein. 

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