by digby

Science fiction in Louisiana:

Pregnant women injured beyond a decision-making capacity in Louisiana will in most cases be kept on life support, regardless of their family's wishes, if a doctor deems the fetus has a viable chance to live.

Legislation concerning mentally incapacitated pregnant women advanced to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk Monday (June 2) to become law after receiving final passage from the Louisiana Legislature on its last day in session. The governor is likely to sign the legislation, which is opposed by abortion rights groups and received overwhelming support from the legislature.

The only situation in which a woman or her family's wishes could override a doctor's government-sanctioned order to initiate "life-sustaining procedures" would be if she had a will that specified "do not resuscitate" while pregnant. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, directs doctors to make the call, erring on the side of protecting the fetus, in the event that there's any legal ambiguity. Badon defined ambiguity in that situation as a DNR order that fails to specify "while pregnant."

"Do we really want to pull the plug of that healthy baby?" Badon said.

Right. And the woman in whom it resides is just an irrelevant birthing vessel whose wishes --- and the wishes of her family and loved ones --- are to be ignored.

Personally, I don't see why this principle would allow an exception even if the mother wrote the words "while pregnant" in big red letters in her living will. Her wishes are either binding or they're not. I'm surprised they didn't insist that the fetus sign off on it. After all, that's the only life they are about. (Well, until it's born.)

I don't know how many carcasses we're going to have around the country incubating fetuses but it might be a good business opportunity for someone. Women in comas are a dime a dozen, amirite? Why not have them earn their keep? Who cares what they would want. They're not conscious so we might as well put them to work.