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Caoimhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 11:58 AM
Original message
Baby born to brain-dead mother dies
I guess using her body for an incubator just didn't work out.

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20050913/1054942.a...

Sorry if I offend anyone but this story made me sick from the start. I made sure my husband knows that under no circumstance am I ever to be kept alive artificially as an incubator. I will haunt him. Perhaps that is selfish, but I consider myself to be more than just a womb. When I die.. I will be dead, and whatever is inside my womb will be too.

What do you guys think? Yes it is sad, but it highlights the fact that pregnancy is a dangerous business, and even if abortion were to be outlawed there are no guarantees in the process of gestation.

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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Generally I operate from the same POV
but in this case it was clear (at least from the news reports) that this is what the woman wanted/would have wanted. I therefore have nothing to say publicly. It's a sad story all around.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm sorry I won't climb on this band wagon with you
But the decision legally was his...he loved his wife. It is what he felt she would want under these circumstances.
She didn't feel any pain.
You shouldn't try to push what you morally would or wouldn't do on anyone else. It simply isn't your business.
This is the same fight that Michael Schiavo fought. The rights of the legal next of kin.
Legally it is the surviving spouse's decision what to do, whether or not you agree.
I'm glad you made YOUR spouse aware of what YOUR decision would be--I might suggest you make a living will so that Bill Frist or Tom Delay wouldn't gather round your deathbed making your decisions for you.

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Autumn Colors Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I agree with Horse With No Name
This was a case where it was obvious that this baby was wanted by both parents and it was the mother's wish as well as the father's that the baby be born.

I've chosen to not have children and I'm almost at the age where this is a moot point for me, but if my husband and I had decided to have a child and then I found out I was going to die, how could I deny my husband the chance to keep a small bit of me (and our love) alive?

This is heartbreaking news.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-18-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. That would be an imaginary wagon?
You shouldn't try to push what you morally would or wouldn't do on anyone else. It simply isn't your business.

Unfortunately, what Caiomhe actually said was:

... this story made me sick from the start. I made sure my husband knows that under no circumstance am I ever to be kept alive artificially as an incubator.
Do only the "pro-life pro-choice" people get to express personal opinions about things?

There's nothing about saying that something makes one sick that supports the conclusion that the person who says it is seeking to "push" anything on anyone else at all. And I didn't see any evidence that Caiomhe was doing any such thing. She followed her statement of her feelings by saying what *she* had done about *her own* life.


This is the same fight that Michael Schiavo fought. The rights of the legal next of kin.

And that really is a bizarrely simplistic statement, in this situation as it was in the Schiavo case.

Nexts-of-kin really just don't get to do whatever they want to their kin when the kin are unable to make their own decisions. There really are rules.

Some of the lines that are rules are based on aren't crystal clear, and competing interests arise in these cases as in the rest of life. One next-of-kin may focus on preserving the individual's dignity, as an expression of the value placed on him/her; another may focus on prolonging his/her life for essentially the same reason, just from a different perspective.

But if we don't imagine that society would, and think that society should, step in if someone were intent on keeping a completely brain-dead and non-functioning, and constantly deteriorating, body alive on life-support week after month ... particularly if that individual did have an obvious personal interest in doing so, whether that be to have an heir or to inherit the brain-dead individual's dying aunt's estate by having him/her outlive the aunt ... well, I think we're denying reality.

I like the security of believing that people close to me will carry out my wishes -- but also the security of knowing that society is watching over them to make sure that what they do to me really is in my best interests.

And whether what that man did was in the woman's best interests is a very serious question, that simply is not answered by facile homilies about families' rights.

Nonetheless, in this instance, when you say:

Legally it is the surviving spouse's decision what to do, whether or not you agree.

... I just see someone tilting at straw folk (and someone else busily "agreeing"), because Caiomhe didn't actually say that the decision is not, or should not be, the spouse's to make. Whether one agrees with that decision is a separate issue, and we are all quite at liberty to express our agreement or disagreement.

Me, I thought that the husband was quite obviously unable to see the forest for the trees in that case, and engaging in some serious wishful thinking. He seems to have just got hit on the head by a falling branch, and unfortunately it also hit the child that was born, whose interests he does not seem to have adequately considered either.



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Caoimhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Thankyou
I think it is an incredibly personal decision. I hope that reading about it will embolden people to talk to their spouses/significant others about it. I guess I just have a hard time with the idea, but I would NEVER try to pretend I know what is best for other people in their own unique circumstance.

When we get artificial wombs this all won't matter! :think:
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PublicWrath Donating Member (597 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-13-05 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. I felt I partially understood the husband's motive, but
I thought it utterly grotesque to use a basically deceased woman as gestation equipment. I wonder what she would have thought of her husband's actions. Speaking for myself alone, I wouldn't want my body used that way, almost like potting soil.

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WildClarySage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-14-05 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. I completely disagree. Her wishes were best known to her husband
and it isn't anyone's place to second guess that. If it was me, I'd want my husband to make the decision to keep me alive til the baby could survive. The body's a shell and if I wasn't there, I wouldn't care about my body, but I would want my child to have a fighting chance. As I'm pregnant now, we've discussed it already. This is such a sad thing for the family who obviously wanted this child very much. My heart broke for them when I read the news.
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musical_soul Donating Member (398 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-19-05 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. That's sad.
As for the contraversy, that's why people need to make their wishes known before they die.
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-05 04:30 AM
Response to Original message
8. Predictable Outcome
I knew that that extremely low birth weight infant was unlikely to survive more than a month or so; the mortality rates for ELBW infants at that weight are staggering, as are the complications they face. I wonder if those who insist that they would be kept on life-support to gestate a pregnancy would really want to do so if they fully understood what it would mean for any child that resulted from the experiment. This particular infant had a gastrointestinal problem common to premature, ELBW infants and had been on a respirator for most of its life, which increases morbidity. This infant's short life was spent in an incubator in a hospital, attached to machines and undergoing surgery. Who would wish this on their child, or even take a chance, knowing how likely (80%+) that this would be the outcome?

Semin Neonatol. 2000 May;5(2):89-106
J Pediatr. 2005 Jun;146(6) :798-804
Semin Neonatol. 2003 Apr;8(2):137-45
Am J Perinatol. 2003 Aug;20(6):321-32
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-22-05 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thank you. I agree
when the baby was first born I started a thread about how strange it was that a woman's body was used as an incubator and was tarred and feathered. With only a couple agreeing with me.

Most said that this was a private and personal decision to be made by the family. But if this was a private matter - how come all the media outlets were writing about it, throughout the whole ordeal?

Some said that something like that happened in their families and how happy the father was. But we've never heard about those families.

So I am still having hard time accepting the notion that this was "a private matter for the family to decide." Yes, it was, but publicizing it just added one more tool in the hands of the reactionaries that a woman's role is to carry a baby.

I was wondering whether cancerous cells could have had the potential to cross the placenta and was told that no such case is known.

Still, the fact is that something happened to that baby that she could not survived.

And I added that we need to know when to let go of our loved ones, but this is a different topic, I suppose.
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