Brain-Dead Paternalism

Against forced plug-pulling and cadaveric incubation.

Brain DeathNatureIn California this past December, due to a rare complication from a tonsillectomy performed to relieve her sleep apnea, 13-year-old Jahi McMath experienced massive bleeding. She was placed on a ventilator, and her physicians declared her brain-dead three days later. In Texas in November, 33-year-old Marlise Munoz, collapsed onto her kitchen floor. Her husband found her about an hour later, and she too is now brain-dead and on a ventilator. In both cases, state officials want to override the wishes of the next of kin with regard to how the patients should be treated.

In the case of McMath, a judge ordered that the ventilator that is keeping her lungs breathing and her heart beating be turned off. Conversely, Munoz’s physicians are maintaining her on life support even though her next of kin have told them that Munoz, a trained paramedic, made it clear that she would not want life support in this kind of situation. She was pregnant when she collapsed, and the doctors claim that their hands are tied by a Texas law that requires them to keep her body functioning as a cadaveric incubator.

Every year, some 15,000 Americans—about 1 percent of those who die—are pronounced brain-dead. Brain death is not a coma or a vegetative state in which patients’ brains continue to show some level of activity. It is the irreversible loss of all functions of the brain, including the stem. (The brain stem connects the spinal cord to the front parts of the brain and, among other functions, regulates breathing.) Physicians use various tests to diagnose brain death, including touching a Q-tip to the patient’s cornea, squirting cold water into her ears, and removing ventilation to see if there is a spontaneous effort to breathe as carbon dioxide concentration builds in the bloodstream. There are no reported cases of a patient recovering brain function after failing to respond to these tests.

Modern biomedical wizardry makes it possible to keep the organs in the bodies of the brain-dead functioning, a capability that benefits the thousands of patients who receive transplants from those bodies. In most cases of brain death, the next of kin are notified that ventilation will soon be stopped and given an opportunity to consent to organ donation. Most of them accept that their loved ones have really come to the end of their lives.

McMath’s mother is not one of them. She has removed her daughter from the hospital to an undisclosed location where ventilation, pharmacologic treatments, and nutrition are being supplied. The family has reportedly received donations amounting so far to $50,000 to help pay for the expenses of maintaining McMath’s body functions.

And Munoz? In 2010, BMC Medicine published a systematic review of cases involving brain-dead pregnant women. The authors found 30 cases in the literature between 1982 and 2010. Twelve of the fetuses were viable; on average, those were at 22 weeks of gestation when their mothers were declared brain-dead and were born via caesarean section at 29.5 weeks of gestation. In the longest reported case on record, a pregnant woman declared brain-dead at 15 weeks of gestation gave birth to an infant at 32 weeks. Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant when her brain died. The BMC Medicine review found no cases in which fetuses born to brain-dead women at 14 weeks of gestation or earlier survived at birth.

Earlier this week, Erick Munoz filed a lawsuit asking a state court to order the Fort Worth hospital where his wife is located to cease life support, as she would have wished. He argues, among other things, that the hospital has misinterpreted the Texas law that forbids withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment from a “pregnant patient.” Although the physicians who are treating Marlise have told her husband and her parents that she is brain-dead, they have oddly not made that determination public. The lawsuit will force the doctors to either acknowledge her death or show evidence to the contrary.

Erick’s legal brief declares that “as Marlise is deceased, she cannot possibly be a ‘pregnant patient’” and cannot be subject to any “life sustaining” treatment, since the law defines a life-sustaining treatment as that which “based on reasonable medical judgment, sustains the life of the patient and without which the patient will die.” Under Texas law, he argues, Marlise is already dead, so there can be no life-sustaining treatment in her case. Furthermore, the law explicitly applies only to pregnant patients, not to the fetuses that they carry. Erick also argues that the hospital is violating his wife’s constitutionally protected right to refuse unwanted medical treatment or procedures. It should also be noted that Marlise had the legal right to abort her fetus before her collapse and subsequent brain death.

The University of Southern Maine philosopher Julien Murphy has cogently argued that sustaining a brain-dead pregnant woman violates two basic assumptions of pregnancy: that “a woman must be alive to be pregnant” and that “the mother in pregnancy must be person (emphasis his).” He adds, “Any mandatory [post-mortem ventilation] policy can be seen as violating women’s reproductive freedoms and brain-dead patients’ right to privacy.” I’d add that, in what must be a very rare circumstance, it seems reasonable and ethical to continue life support of a pregnant brain-dead woman if she had expressed a prior desire to complete her pregnancy.

These two cases are unusual. Jahi McMath’s mother has not accepted the reality of her daughter’s death and has received help from others who have agreed to maintain and pay for her girl’s body to remain on ventilation. Meanwhile, the body of Marlise Munoz is being kept on life support despite the opposition of her next of kin—and this is happening at a public hospital, so the taxpayers of Fort Worth are likely paying for the treatment. In both cases, the next of kin who believe that they are looking out for the best interests of their loved ones may be making a mistake. It should, however, be their mistake to make, without the intrusion of the government or the interference of paternalistic physicians.

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  • Sevo||

    So long as the corpse of Ms. McMath is being 'preserved' at the expense of those who choose to do so, I have no problem with that at all.

  • Floridian||

    ^this. Charge the family $100/day, which won't cover an hour in the hospital, and see how many families want everything done. It easy to say no price is too high when you aren't paying the bill.

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  • playa manhattan||

    Ditto.
    "The family has reportedly received donations amounting so far to $50,000 to help pay for the expenses of maintaining McMath’s body functions."
    That's fine by me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is why we need to get rid of Medicare.

    This is why socialized medicine leads to rationing.

    This is why ObamaCare is antagonistic to choice.

    These people were sold Medicare and Medicaid as a kind of public insurance, where they would get to make choices for themselves that they couldn't afford.

    Invariably, however, the people paying the bills are the people who get to make the choices, and if you don't want the taxpayers making choices for you, then you should want the opportunity to get away from whatever they're paying for.

  • Sevo||

    'He who pays the piper calls the tune'.

  • playa manhattan||

    My payment to the Franchise Tax Board last year would beg to differ.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They're violating the principle, but it's still a principle.

    They're violating all the other principles, why not that one, too?

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's right. It's "no taxation without representation", too!

    It's another way of saying that if I have to pay taxes, then I get a say in how that money is spent.

  • playa manhattan||

    So do the "stakeholders" nowadays.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I hate that word.

    I hate, hate, hate, hate it.

    Hate it.

    If it's really possible to hate a word? that's the word I hate.

    Hate it.

  • R C Dean||

    I raise your "hate" with a "despise".

  • Tony||

    Why can't you have socialized medicine--with "rationing"--and let people pay out of pocket when they make irrational choices such as keeping dead people on ventilators? The rationing thing is, as you should well know, a bit of scaremongering bullshit. You are fine with rationing--you just want nature to do it.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Why do you want to let poor people die?

  • Tony||

    Why don't you ask Ken?

  • Zeb||

    When nature does it it is called "scarcity".

  • Tony||

    If you want more of a scarce thing you subsidize it.

    Ah the libertarian, for whom healthcare services are scarce but oil is forever.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|1.17.14 @ 4:21PM|#
    "Ah the libertarian, for whom healthcare services are scarce but oil is forever."

    Ah, the brain-dead shitpile for whom logic and honesty are a mystery.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The rationing thing is, as you should well know, a bit of scaremongering bullshit."

    I worked for years in the healthcare reimbursement, first at a hospital. I QC'd the grouping and payer software for a big software company that worked for the biggest hospitals and hospital chains in the country for years, too.

    You, on the other hand, know nothing. Here's a blurb from a company that does software for medical necessity (the means by which Medicare currently rations care):

    "How complex is Medicare medical necessity?

    CMS creates National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) that apply to the entire country, and contracted FIs,carriers and MACs create medical necessity poicies known as Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) that apply to local service areas. All healthcare providers must check all pertinent policy regulations to determine medical necessity. This represents a significant challenge :healthcare providers face between 150,000 and 500,000 unique ICD and HCPCS/CPT code pairs in the Medicare policies, depending on the state. In addition, these codes can change on both a monthly and ad hoc basis."

    http://tinyurl.com/mxactr8

  • Ken Shultz||

    That is how Medicare currently rations care, and most everyone who's used Medicare for any length of time has had a procedure denied due to "medical necessity". A denied patient said to me once, "If my doctor says I need it, then how can it not be medically necessary?"

    You get what you want when you pay for yourself. When you pay for yourself, you get to decide what's more important. When other people pay for you, they get to decide what's more important. It's as simple as that.

    Medical necessity, by the way, has been in effect for decades already. It's just that as more and more people come onto the system, it becomes necessary to ration more and more care--so more and more stipulations are put into the medical necessity dictionary about how many times you can get what test, what has to happen for the procedure to be "medically necessary", etc., etc.

    Your doctor says it would be prudent to get that ultrasound again--just to be safe? Too bad! The bureaucrats in Washington have decided that more money needs to go to dental work for children this year, so the ultrasound for your diagnostic code just isn't medically necessary anymore.

    That's the way it works. That's the way it's worked for decades. That's the way it has to work if we're going to have a system like Medicare--and it's going to get a lot worse as more and more people get onto public programs.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Who gets to say what is "rational"?

  • toolkien||

    Any function which allocates scarce resources is rationing. The question is whether people can make free choices between guns, butter, and lozenges or if a select few hoist themselves upward to make those decisions for everyone by taking away their resources by Force. That's the part where people like you don't get it, or perhaps you do, but you include yourself in the category of those smarter than everyone else and gets to be the Omnipotent Philosopher King. It may be a news flash to you, but you're not that smart.

    I'd much rather have a society where a free market allocates access to resources, and a free market for individuals to decide how they behave with those resources, for good or bad. And all those assholes on the left and right, who think they've plugged into some more rarefied Ethereal Truth and get to unleash broadcast Force in all directions - gathering and rationing, can eat shit.

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  • Notorious G.K.C. (nee EvH)||

    "it seems reasonable and ethical to continue life support of a pregnant brain-dead woman if she had expressed a prior desire to complete her pregnancy.

    "...this is happening at a public hospital, so the taxpayers of Fort Worth are likely paying for the treatment."

    What's the relevance of the second statement, in light of the first? If this woman had "expressed a prior desire to complete her pregnancy," the baby would still be getting taxpayer-subsidized care.

    And as for the baby's chance of survival, the article says earlier that later-stage babies can be born alive in these circumstances. Is that to imply that it would be OK for the doctors to keep the baby alive if it were further along in its fetal development?

  • ||

    I think you want to change that to "né" (one e, unless you're another secret female libertarian).

  • Notorious G.K.C. (né EvH)||

    Better?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Even better.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    And why did you just *assume* I was male?

  • ||

    Because your previous handle was a male name, not that that's dispositive.

  • SIV||

    Microaggression

  • SugarFree||

    You tiresome abortion trolls are always male. It's that extra-creamy center of oblivious hypocrisy that make you all so pathetic.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Did you see my link about the Susan B. Anthony List? Hint: They're female.

    My local prolife groups tend to have female leaders.

    etc.

    A swing and a miss.

  • SugarFree||

    "How dare you! Some of my best friends are black!"

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Some of my *leaders* are women.

    Some female prolifers are in the Supreme Court right now, seeking to vindicate their First Amendment rights.

    Are you entirely sure you know what you are talking about?

  • SugarFree||

    I like who you are admitting that everyone in the pro-life movement is an "abortion troll." Which, of course, is not an assertion I made.

    An abortion troll is someone like you, who tries to inject it into the vast majority of threads you are on and go twink dance party hyper when an actual abortion thread shows up. And they are always guys. Because advocating violence against individuals who are in a situation you will never face is easy.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    This answer is for the other people on the board, not for you since you've already made up your mind.

    HM and others have persuaded me to limit my abortion posts on unrelated threads - lately, I've mainly been bringing up a First Amendment case involving the (female) prolifers at the Susan B. Anthony List. That case involves non-life issues, specifically the right to one's day in court to challenge censorship, and the problem of criminal defamation laws which protect politicians and not regular people. One need not be prolife to find these matters interesting.

    I plead guilty to commenting on abortion threads, though sometimes I'm too late - the topic has been exhausted by others by the time I get there. Consider the two other Supreme Court cases with prolifers who happen to be female - the case of the woman who wants to talk to patients inside the Silence 35' Radius imposed by Mass outside abortion clinics, and the case of the Sisters of Charity (note the word "Sisters").

    By your logic, all these women are "advocating violence."

  • SugarFree||

    An excellently non-responsive answer. But keep talking past my point. I'm sure someone will believe you.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Your point is that men get to argue in favor of abortion rights on the Internet and their motives are pure, but men shouldn't argue *against* abortion on the Internet.

    You also said that prolifers are advocating violence, which would certainly implicate woman prolifers.

  • SugarFree||

    We've established your low level of credibility many times.

    And yes, if you want abortion to be illegal, you are advocating violence. That's how the state operates.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    OK, then, you're not accusing prolife women of being abortion trolls, you're accusing them of advocating violence.

  • SugarFree||

    you're accusing them of advocating violence.

    OK, one more time because you obviously can't seem to be able to read:

    And yes, if you want abortion to be illegal, you are advocating violence. That's how the state operates.

    Tell me where I'm wrong rather than whining. Try it. You might like.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I was focusing on your selectively misandric comments.

  • Seamus||

    Sigh. Let me help you out.

    Syllogism No. 1:

    And yes, if you want abortion to be illegal, you are advocating violence.

    The leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List want abortion to be illegal.

    Therefore the leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List are advocating violence.

    The conclusion of Syllogism No. 1 can be converted to: Some people who advocate violence are leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List.

    Syllogism No. 2:

    Some people who advocate violence are leaders of the Susan B. Anthony List.

    The leaders of the Susan B. Anthony list are pro-life women.

    Therefore, some people who advocate violence are pro-life women.

    The conclusion of Syllogism No. 2 validly converts to: Some pro-life women advocate violence. Which is exactly what the Notorious GKC said you were accusing them of.

    Unless you can show that (1) the terms of my premises are ambiguous, (2) the premises of my propositions are false, (3) either the syllogisms constructed from my propositions or my conversion of the conclusion of my first syllogism are invalid, then NGCK was correct. You *were* accusing pro-life women of violence.

  • ||

    And yes, if you want abortion to be illegal, you are advocating violence. That's how the state operates.

    This presumes an ethical standpoint where a fetus has no human rights. If you believe that a fetus does, at some or any point in its development, have human rights, the state's intervention (violence) is no different than the state's intervention (violence) to stop, say, an assault or murder. You have to presume that abortion is non-violent for the logic to work.

  • ||

    Some of my *leaders* are women.

    1 Timothy 2:11-12 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

    Paul doesn't like that very much. Unless of course the asterisks were functioning in a quote-unquote capacity and really they're all submissive to you and not really leaders at all.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Well then, maybe they're ignoring the Bible, but so were Deborah and Judith.

  • ||

    Deborah is a great example of female leadership and initiative but the story is geared around warning men that if they don't man up women will take their victories. It's a narrative of emasculation. From Judges 4.

    Barak said to [Deborah], “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

    “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”
    But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.

    I think we can safely assume that Heber did not have a wandering eye ever after that incident :D

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    She got him pegged!

    And by analogy, far from men taking the lead against abortion (with noble exceptions, of course), many of them have hung back like Bara(c)k or even fought on the other side. So of course women need to step up!

  • ||

    Is there really a lack of male leadership in the anti-abortion movement? I haven't really seen a deficiency in the evangelical circles I grew up in, but I'm never quite sure how my childhood experiences stack up against normal life. I've been told my childhood is quirky.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I should say there's lots of prolife men but not enough.

    Also, many married couples are prolife but the wife is a traditional type who stays at home and she can do the prolife activism her husband would do if he had spare time. She's not challenging her husband's headship (however we define it) but doing what her husband wants done.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Can we find a Debbie to tell our Barak where to go?

  • playa manhattan||

    What's the G.K.C.?

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Goin' to Kansas City?

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    God King Cthulhu?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    G. K. Chesterton.

    When I first thought of the joke, I Googled it to see if anyone had come up with it independently, and I noticed that Tim Cavanaugh had. But I thought of it without him.

    FWIW, here's Cavanaugh's article, though to repeat, that article was not my inspiration.

    http://www.rakemag.com/2004/10/notorious-g-k-c-0/

  • Tonio||

    I'm guessing GK Chesterton. Back in the day it was the fashion for certain members of the english gentry intelligentsia (soi disant) to abandon the Church of England and embrace Roman Catholicism. IOW, embracing a more mystical, less rational worldview.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    In the first of G.K.C.'s Father Brown stories, the protagonist says: "I know that people charge the Church with lowering reason, but it is just the other way. Alone on earth, the Church makes reason really supreme. Alone on earth, the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason."

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files.....k2H_4_0001

  • Square||

    "Alone on earth, the Church affirms that God himself is bound by reason." Not true, actually. A Muslim philosopher by the name of Muhammad ibn Rushd made that exact argument in the twelfth century. Aquinas presented a watered down version of the same argument that was less threatening to the Church, and that remains dogma to this day.

  • ||

    IOW, embracing a more mystical, less rational worldview.


    I'm not so sure about that. High chrch Anglicans are every bit as much "Catholic" as adherents of the Church of Rome are.

    Some CofE faithful that I have known who have come to the US have found the Episcopalian church here to be much to much "High Church" and have found refuge in other faiths eg: Evangelical Lutheranism.

    As for mysticism there are adherents to spinoffs from the CofE (eg the Quakers, my particular heritage) that are much more mystical than contemporary Anglicanism or Catholicism.

  • Tonio||

    Um, there is no "baby" Eddie. She's pregnant. There is a fetus. So when you start off with factually incorrect, emotional appeals, you get...

  • ||

    How did you know that is was our Catholic Troll, Tonio? Was it because he's so obvious no matter what handle he uses? Or are you a wizard?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Look above, I posted as "Notorious G.K.C. (né EvH)" before deciding to skip the transition.

  • playa manhattan||

    Heh. Eddy's transitioning.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Captain Picard circumcising a pizza?

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I checked WWWebster. A definition of "baby" was "a very young child." A definition of "child" was "an *unborn* or recently born person." [emphasis added]

    Those misogynist extremists at Webster, what will they think of next!

  • Seamus||

    Uh huh. And if you cut the "foetus" out of the womb and lay it in an incubator, does it suddenly become a "baby." Or do you have to wait a certain length of time to see if it survives?

  • Tonio||

    Ex-utero and it's a baby. This is a definition based on longstanding tradition. It's not a perfect definition, but a workable one.

    It is also traditional to refer to dead-on-delivery late- or full-term fetuses as "stillborn babies." Early-term spontaneous (ie, occurring without human intervention) abortions are referred to as miscarriages. I'd be interested in researching where people draw the line between miscarriage and stillbirth.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'd be interested in researching where people draw the line between miscarriage and stillbirth.

    As a hunch, I believe that the line would match up nicely with the experience of "quickening", but who knows? I agree that would be an interesting line of inquiry.

  • ||

    People disagree about the status of babies/fetuses! OMG! Obviously the other side is factually incorrect and relying on emotional appeals!

  • Ron Bailey||

    NGKC: I will make the implied assumption clearer - it's OK if the family wishes to pay and/or they have an agreement with an insurance company to cover such an eventuality.

    I was chiefly trying to argue that sustaining a dead body as a cadaveric incubator is ethically OK in that case.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    All right, I see.

    I myself happen to support welfare in cases of life and death, but I would guess I'm in a bit of a minority here.

  • Tonio||

    Cadaveric incubator, I like that.

    +1 Axolotl tank

  • Seamus||

    And is keeping a baby in a regular old mechanical incubator only ethically OK if the family wishes to pay for it or they have an agreement with an insurance company to cover the eventuality (of the baby needing one to survive)?

  • R C Dean||

    In both cases, state officials want to override the wishes of the next of kin with regard to how the patients should be treated.

    I can name one hospital GC that is going to need to see a court order before I go along with that.

    Here's the deal on the "paternalistic physicians", though. In the reverse situation, sometimes the family wants to continue life support on a vegetative patient who has no hope of recovery. Someone in a vegetative state has to be handled by staff several times a day for cleaning, care, etc. Often, they exhibit pain responses even though they have no other apparent brain function. Inflicting pain on someone who has no hope of recovery, in addition to being morally wrong and arguably a violation of medical ethics, takes a terrible toll on staff.

    I don't believe anyone should be forced to provide care against their will. The principle here is that care should be given that both the providers and the patient/family agree on. If either party doesn't agree, the care doesn't happen. So, when the family wants to pull the plug, the plug gets pulled because they don't agree that the treatment (life support) should continue. If the hospital/doctors wants to pull the plug, we look for somebody to take the patient. If nobody wants to continue providing life support to vegetative/terminal patient, then life support shouldn't be provided, even though this reads as the "paternalistic physician" overriding the family's desires.

  • Sevo||

    ..."even though this reads as the "paternalistic physician" overriding the family's desires."

    I don't think it does.
    Re: McMath. If the supporters can provide (pay for) 'staff' to 'preserve' the corpse, fine. If the 'staff' would rather get piad for doing other than that, the price for doing so will rise to find 'staff' who will. If they find the cost too high, they can no longer do so.
    No one has 'overridden' the choice of the family, it's simply that no one has offered to provide the service at a cost the family chooses to pay.

  • R C Dean||

    We're on the same page, Sevo. I was just making the point that, in the real world, the family doesn't and shouldn't get everything they want.

    However, as I have seen first-hand in the cases I described above, it is easily presented as the hospital or doctors "overriding" the family's wishes, when in reality they simply haven't and won't agree to provide the services the family requests.

  • R C Dean||

    BTW: as a non-profit hospital GC, I allow no one to even mention cost of care, payment for care, etc. when these cases come up.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I was talking to an engineer at the city. He was explaining to me (and this is just what I heard) that it's against the law for them to take cost into consideration when considering which bid to accept on an engineering contract.

    Because if the bridge (or whatever) fails, it can't be the city's fault for choosing the cheapest contract.

    I suppose all perverse incentives have good reasons behind them. I guess that's what makes them predictable.

  • playa manhattan||

    What city was that?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can't tell you that!

    It's a tiny industry. Everybody knows each other. If they knew I was talkin' about them...

    Still, I think this is a common principle. I tried to google something just now and nothing turned up, but I've heard other people say similar things...

    And it partially explains why a lot of cities are willing to trade design variances for work. We'll let you slide on putting all those extra trees in the parking lot--if you fix that drain for us over there.

    It's a common thing because a lot of times they have problems that need fixing, and it costs them two or three times as much to fix it themselves--rather than to have us do it for them. So they come out way ahead--and all they lose is fewer trees (that we pay for) than they would have had otherwise. A lot of times, they just don't have the budget to do what needs to be done--and this is a way to get us to do it for them.

  • playa manhattan||

    Surely you aren't posting using your real name? The reason I ask is that I was tangentially involved in the design of one of the more recent city construction projects. I found the whole thing very off-putting.

  • Zeb||

    Pretty sure Ken does use his real name, for some strange reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I'm not ashamed of what I write, I wouldn't want other people to think I was so afraid of criticizing the government that I'd try to hide my name, some of the stuff I write here--even though they're only the germs of ideas--are things I might like to really write up someday (if I had the time) and I'd hate to be accused of plagiarism (copying some guy with an anonymous handle); people I used to know find me sometimes this way, your anonymity here is mostly an illusion anyway--just ask Stack...there are lots of good reasons to use your real name.

    In this case, it wouldn't matter though. It's such a small community (commercial real estate in SoCal) that everybody knows each other, and the city employees definitely pay attention to who's talking about them. I could hide behind an anonymous name, but if I said anything at all about the project, they'd know who I was.

    There was this commercial broker that wrote a fictionalized novel about a commercial real estate broker in LA. Except it wasn't fiction--everything that happened in the book was true, and everybody knew exactly who all the people were in the book, too--despite him having given them all fictional names.

    The only time I ducked around here was when an ex-girlfriend started showing up. Then I went by Tom Crick for a while (and told everybody), just to avoid the... She's only mad because I don't call her anymore!

  • OneOut||

    Cough it up. What City ?

    stakeholder...stakeholder

    Now which city is it ?

    stakeholder stakeholder stakeholder

    Still won't talk ehh ?

    stakeholder stakeholder stakeholder stakeholder stakeholder

    Gettin' tired ? We can keep this up all night till you spill the beans.

    STAKEHOLDER STAKEHOLDER STAKEHOLDER STAKEHOLDER STAKEHOLDER STAKEHOLDER

  • Ken Shultz||

    Have mercy.

  • NealAppeal||

    My current boss, worked for a public utility in Vancouver and mentioned that was the case. If it was a city law or state law, I don't recall.

  • NealAppeal||

    Vancouver, WA if any thought I was in the wrong country.

  • Square||

    I'm in public works construction, so I can speak to this a little bit:

    I don't think it is in fact against the law to consider cost, but engineering and architecture are not subject to low bid rules exactly because hiring a bottom dollar engineer is obviously counter to the public interest.

    They do have an obligation to consider "best value," however, in relation to the designer's presentation of their qualifications.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But engineering and architecture are not subject to low bid rules exactly because hiring a bottom dollar engineer is obviously counter to the public interest."

    Well, there you go then!

    That's very different from private developers, where cost isn't necessarily the most important aspect of the project, but it's gotta be number three behind safety and efficacy.

    As a private developer, cost for me determines whether the project is even undertaken. That cost analysis is happening after the market analysis and before making an offer and due diligence. If the costs aren't low enough, I'm simply not doing the project.

    I guess the government needs their bridge across the river rebuilt regardless.

    As an aside to Tony, if he's still reading and learning with his eager little heart, this is why profits make things cost less, Tony!

    Because profits are the difference between sale proceeds and cost, and sale prices are generally beyond our control--set by market forces--controlling costs becomes the key to making profits!

    Governments without profit motives don't have that advantage.

    Ta Da! You learns somethin' new here every day, doncha Tony? That's why you keep comin' back for more!

  • Notorious G.K.C. (nee EvH)||

    And the general rule should be that a dead body should be respectfully, even reverently handled. But in extraordinary situations, there can be exceptions. Eg, if the deceased died suspiciously, they can cut up the body to look for evidence of foul play. If the person died of certain infectious diseases, the body can be burned. All over the objections of relatives. So here they're proposing to use the body to save a baby's life. Whether this is a good thing or not turns on one's view of whether the baby is a person with human rights.

  • Seamus||

    No, it turns on whether letting the baby be born is a good thing.

  • Tonio||

    Once again, there is no "baby."

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Then write Webster's and tell them to update their definition.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Even better, Tonio should present his definitive proof of when personhood begins at symposium and then publish.

    That's Nobel Prize winning material right there.

    Good luck!

  • ||

    I'd be fine if he just accepted that people have a different view of personhood than him. Saying that the argument can only be from his point of view is just masturbation, not an argument. Most abortion arguments are like that, which is why they are such a waste of time.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    This.

    It turns into a Blue Tulpa or Original Tulpa like thread and I scroll down with sadness.

  • Tonio||

    That's disappointing. See below.

  • Tonio||

    I do accept that apatheist. But that doesn't preclude me from stating my POV as factual. I also notice how you aren't calling out Eddie for asserting his definition as factual.

    So, you got anything on the merits here or you just want to nit-pick my choice of grammar?

  • ||

    All he did was use the word baby and you threw a fit over it. Saying, "nuh-uh it's a fetus not a baby" is completely worthless, there was not point in even saying it. And you're plain wrong about the common usage of the word baby too.

  • Tonio||

    I have given partial definitions of personhood here several times. Understand that you may have missed those, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    So, I'm not entitled to an opinion unless I'm credentialed and published? Who else here do you hold to this standard HM? Srsly.

  • ||

    So, I'm not entitled to an opinion unless I'm credentialed and published?

    No, you're just not entitled to inflate your opinion into a fact. Personhood has been an ethical question for several thousand years with many competing viewpoints. To presume you've solved it to the satisfaction of humanity and only your viewpoint shall be used for the purposes of discussion is pretty arrogant.

  • Square||

    Why is Webster's the authority on this? A guy spends a few years studying word roots and now he's an expert on the origins of the soul?

  • Seamus||

    No, he's an expert on the meaning of the word "baby."

  • Square||

    I respectfully disagree. He is an expert on the history of the reference of a set of sounds. The object itself means less than nothing to a philologist.

    Dictionary definitions have no place in a debate about anything other than linguistics.

  • Seamus||

    Uh, "the meaning of the word 'baby'" *is* "the reference of a set of sounds." About which Webster's is an expert.

  • ||

    Dictionary definitions have no place in a debate about anything other than linguistics.

    If a debate about the proper usage of a word is not linguistics, is anything?

  • ||

    Pregnant women refer to their "baby" all the time. This is one of the worst arguments I've ever heard.

  • Tonio||

    I agree that hormonal, emotionally-invested people are the worst argument you could make. Glad you're coming around.

  • Thomas O.||

    Semantics doesn't matter; in Texas it's gonna be regarded as a baby, like it or not.

    And I reckon, while you have strict boundries on what defines officially a "baby" or "fetus", you don't have those hang-ups when it comes to the word "marriage", amirite?

    (For the record, I'm all for gay marriage.)

  • SIV||

    Think of it as an animal...with rights!

  • playa manhattan||

    Thank you. I needed a laugh today.

  • Tonio||

    But I do. And yes they do. Not full robust rights such as you or I have, but limited rights. In the case of a normal fetus those rights will expand and in 21 years (+/- a few months) will have full rights.

  • Tonio||

    Furthermore, animal rights and fetal rights are far more intertwined than either of the camps would like to believe. It is ultimately in the best interest of the fetus fanciers to support animal rights because if a non-human organism has the right not to be killed painfully then so does non-person organism with human DNA.

    But they won't do this because of Team Politics. Animal rights are associated with the left, fetal rights with the right, so both teams reflexively oppose each other to their own detriment.

  • ||

    ...if a non-human organism has the right not to be killed painfully then so does non-person organism with human DNA.

    Here again, presuming a definition of personhood as if there were some unified ethical standard. It doesn't behoove one to support animal rights as a precondition of supporting fetal rights if one presumes that a fetus has all the rights of a human being. When you start from the premise that a fetus is similar to an animal you'll obviously reach the conclusion that's contained in the premise.

  • ||

    Do you object to charging a person who murders a pregnant woman with double homicide?

    If so should the killer face any additional charges for destroying the fetus?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There are no reported cases of a patient recovering brain function after failing to respond to these tests."

    I think people line up on this issue a lot like they line up on abortion. In both cases, you're talking about whether extinguishing the life in question really amounts to a person, and how people deal with those uncertainties on the abortion issue is probably similar to how they deal with the issue of brain dead patients.

    Incidentally, on the abortion issue, I'm of the opinion that it's often ethically immoral, but even if it is immoral, it should probably still be legal. My take on these patients is similar; even if letting these brain dead "people" die is immoral, for pragmatic reasons, the government really doesn't need to get involved.

    Cheating on your spouse is immoral. Lying to your grandmother is immoral. Just because it's immoral, doesn't mean the government needs to be involved.

    Incidentally, there's this thing called an "Advance Directive".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_directive

    If you have a health condition that might put the people that love in this kind of situation, you really should get one.

  • R C Dean||

    Take it from an expert: a "living will" is, in the real world, wholly inadequate. What you need is a health care power of attorney, with your health care agent being somebody who both knows and can be trusted to carry out your desires.

  • playa manhattan||

    ^^^ This.
    My wife and I took care of that before we even got life insurance, and we are neither old nor sick.

  • SugarFree||

    Us too. Especially considering that I probably had my mid-life crisis at 27.

  • playa manhattan||

    I would think getting shot would help motivate you too..

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, it did factor in. I've always joked that the only tattoo I'll ever get will be a nice big DNR on my chest.

  • Floridian||

    I know you are joking but the DNR tattoo is not legal because you can retract a DNR at anytime. In fact DNR's are suspended in the OR. So you could change your mind but not removed the tattoo.

  • SugarFree||

    Dammit. I have a living will and health care agent set-up. I thought the tattoo would be a nice back-up. Thanks, Floridian.

  • ||

    Wait, this is a tale I've not heard.

  • SugarFree||

    jesse, there's a better write-up somewhere, but this thread hits the highlights.

  • ||

    Wow, that is a great story. One I'm glad I can't tell though.

  • SIV||

    He was also poisoned and shoved into a hole in the ice.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    After being beaten with chains.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I have seen respiratory therapists met running down the hall towards the ICU by an ICU nurse running the other direction yelling "It's a no-code"!

    The Advance Directives you can sign on the way into the hospital can function, but I'm sure you're right that about having somebody...

    I have seen next-of-kin override an Advance Directive, too. They broke the poor ol' timer open and did hand massage on his heart. Poor old man died anyway. That pain and trauma is presumably part of what he wanted to avoid. And then his estate got a crippling bill, too.

    The old man's brother was arguing with the old man's son. The old man's son was next of kin, so he made the call--I'm sure he regretted it. If the old man's brother had a health care power of attorney, I'm sure the whole thing could have been avoided.

  • R C Dean||

    I have seen next-of-kin override an Advance Directive, too.

    That's why you want a health care power of attorney. What the designated decision-maker (often specified by statute if there is no POA) says, goes, regardless of what your living will might say.

    The other advantage to a POA is that the staff knows exactly the one person who calls the shots for the patient, and you can avoid these tedious meetings with the whole frickin bickering dysfunctional family.

  • SugarFree||

    As long as Mr. Munoz isn't charged a dime and the hospital finds someone to take the severely handicapped infant off his hands.

  • Tonio||

    Funny how people like Eddie never step up with offers to do that, but they are very keen on telling others what to do.

  • SugarFree||

    Pah. I'm sure he's adopted dozens of unwanted children.

  • ||

    "You're under arrest for child cruelty, child endangerment, depriving children of food, selling children as food, and misrepresenting the weight of livestock."

  • playa manhattan||

    Sorta like the left and charity. Funny how things come full circle.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Funny how people like Eddie never step up with offers to do that

    How do you know how EvH spends (or doesn'r spend) his money?

  • Tonio||

    How do you know how EvH spends (or doesn'[t] spend) his money?

    I don't. Nor was I claiming to. Nor do I see how anyone could construe that as a claim that I did.

    What I also don't see is an offer from him to pay the medical expenses, and adopt the infant once it is actually born.

    What I do see is him telling others what to do.

    Now, having said all that, such an offer doesn't create a duty on Mr. Munoz' part to ignore his dead wife's wishes. But an offer like that would establish credibility, and there might be some people who would take him up on such an offer.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Nor do I see how anyone could construe that as a claim that I did.

    When you say "people like Eddie" you're inferring (unfairly, in my opinion) that Eddie possesses some quality that leads to not offering to pay medical expenses or donate to orphan charities.

    What I also don't see is an offer from him to pay the medical expenses, and adopt the infant once it is actually born.

    Unless he knocked up Ms. Munoz, why would he be under any obligation to do so? Furthermore, I can observe the parenting skills of someone and state my belief that he or she is or is not a good parent. Are you claiming that if I believe someone isn't a good parent that I must offer to adopt the kid or I'm a hypocrite? That seems silly to me.

    What I do see is him telling others what to do.

    I don't see him doing that, unless you're referring to spillover from another thread that I missed. To me, it seems like he's making an argument based on a definition of personhood that you don't agree with. That doesn't mean that EvH is necessarily arguing that we should infringe upon someone's liberty.

    And since Ed is a grown man, I'll let him fight his own battles and leave it at that.

  • Tonio||

    I'll let him fight his own battles and leave it at that.

    He said conveniently after carrying his canteen and ammo belt for several hours.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    such an offer doesn't create a duty on Mr. Munoz' part to ignore his dead wife's wishes.

    Fair enough. However, what the dilemma seems to be is that his wife's wishes concerning the pregnancy had a time limit. If she wished to terminate the pregnancy, she had ample time when she was alive. Furthermore, one can change one's opinion in seconds; how do we know that this would have been the action she wanted done now? I don't have the answers to those questions, but I suggest that it's not as clear-cut as you're making it out to be.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    On the long waiting list of people who are seeking to adopt, I would assume there are one or two prolifers interested in this child.

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....5Y20130115

  • Tonio||

    But what about you, Eddie? If you're not willing to adopt are you willing to donate to keep Ms. Munoz' body alive*?

    You, Eddie, not random theoretical people on lists. I'll take that argument seriously when I see a kickstarter for that. You get your money back if the project doesn't get full funding.

    (*)A far different think from keeping Ms. Munoz alive since that ship has left the dock and is over the horizon.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    I'm confused, I thought I was *already* paying for it, according to the article.

  • Tonio||

    So, not stepping up, Eddie. Duly noted.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    tonio, that is just a different version of the "chickenhawk" argument circa 2004.

  • ||

    Have you filed any briefs on behalf of Mr. Munoz, Tonio? Have ya? Huh? Huh?! ZOMGZORZ! YOU HAVEN'T?! HYPOCRITE! HYPOCRITE! YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY TAKE A POSITION ON AN ISSUE UNLESS YOU DEVOTE YOUR LIFE TO IT!!!!!

    Come on, seriously?

  • some guy||

    That's about how I feel. If she's dead then she isn't a person and has no rights. Mr. Munoz might have rights to her body as property, but I think those are outweighed by the rights of the fetus. If someone is willing to care for it of their own free will, then so be it. Otherwise, do what Mr. Munoz wants.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I think the non-aggression principle requires us to err on preserving the life of the fetus even if nobody is willing to care for it of their own free will.

    It's unrealistic to expect a fetus or young child to care for itself and that basic level of care for the helpless is one of the functions a limited Libertarian government should be expected to undertake.

  • Seamus||

    “Any mandatory [post-mortem ventilation] policy can be seen as violating women’s reproductive freedoms and brain-dead patients’ right to privacy.”

    Huh? Erick Munoz is arguing that if she's dead, she isn't a patient any longer. And if she is, as Erick Munoz also claims, no longer a person, how can she have rights?

  • R C Dean||

    I'm a little puzzled by the reference to privacy rights, myself. Exactly what right to privacy is being violated here, how, and by who?

  • SugarFree||

    He's a philosopher. Knowing anything about the real world just gets in the way.

  • M. Samuels||

    Philosophy -- specifically metaphysics -- deals with the real world. Or do you believe that philosophy pertains only to politics?

  • some guy||

    If anything Mr. Munoz has a property rights claim to his wife's body (assuming she didn't pass it on to someone else.) That should be the extent of his claim.

  • playa manhattan||

    It's emanating from the penumbra. bro. Don't you see it?

  • Tonio||

    Others are claiming that she has a person, and thus has rights. Mr. Munoz appears to be playing along with that view in order to carry out the wishes expressed by his wife when she was alive and conscious. I really don't blame him for taking whatever course of action is most likely to yield the desired result.

    In reality it is a still-warm corpse which is being preserved in a very life-like (but not conscious) state by medical technology. This corpse is the property of the next of kin, in the same sense that I "own" the (thankfully, cold and buried) corpses of several ancestors.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    This corpse is the property of the next of kin, in the same sense that I "own" the (thankfully, cold and buried) corpses of several ancestors.

    Things might be different in Munoz's California, but I'm not certain you are correct in your assertion.

    I'm interested in hearing what the HnR Law Brigade has to say.

  • SIV||

    Texas

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sorry, you're right.

  • Tonio||

    And that's interesting, but I don't see how it's relevant to either my case or that of Mr. Munoz.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's relevant in Munoz's case in that there is no legal consensus as to the status of the corpse of Ms. Munoz and its bearing on the fetus growing inside it. If the corpse were Mr. Munoz's property, there would be no question. It would be his right to plug or unplug, and if it were property of the state, then it would have been the state's decision as what to do. However, since there is no consensus, they currently exist in legal limbo.

  • ||

    I think the state does assume some authority to tell you what you can and can't do with a corpse.

    You cannot, for example, take it outside and burn it on a pyre in your front yard. In this case they would seem to be saying that if the corpse is carrying a live fetus you can't do anything that would destroy the fetus.

    I guess kind of like you can't cut down a tree on your property if it's the nesting site of a protected bird?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think your argument makes sense.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    That was very well put, RHSMV.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The idea that the state owns your very body is pretty chilling.

  • Tonio||

    It's taken you a rather long time to come to that realization, Bo.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not understand what you are getting at, that is kind of a 'first principle' for me.

  • Tonio||

    It was a bit of snark, Bo. (Take note, haters, Tonio bites both friend and foe). Many of the policies that are opposed here are policies which can be reduced to the state asserting that it can tell you what to do with your own body even if you're not pregnant.

  • Tonio||

    Legally it's not a corpse since there is no death certificate. Legally she's still a living person, though an unconscious one.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Living or dead, the idea that the state owns the body or even can commandeer it in this fashion is nightmarish. The first principle of libertarianism is you own yourself.

  • ||

    the idea that the state owns the body or even can commandeer it in this fashion is nightmarish.

    Just checking to make sure you have never defended the state with regards to the regulation of e-cigarettes, drugs in general, 64-ounce sodas, trans fats, prostitution, organ sales, minimum wage laws etcetera ad nauseum?

  • Tonio||

    I don't recall him doing so, but my memory is imperfect. You got any examples?

  • Zeb||

    Whatever else you want to say about Bo, I have never seen him post anything that would lead me to believe that he is not a sincere libertarian.

  • M. Samuels||

    I have never seen him [Bo] post anything that would lead me to believe that he is not a sincere libertarian.

    I don't know about that. He never loses it and never resorts to obscenities, insults and ad hom attacks like many of the other libertarians here. So is he a real libertarian? Or the realest?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Am against government regulation in all those areas.

  • Zeb||

    Living or dead, the idea that the state owns the body or even can commandeer it in this fashion is nightmarish. The first principle of libertarianism is you own yourself.

    I certainly agree. But there is still a lot of ambiguity about who owns your corpse after you are dead. If you have family or have designated someone to deal with your remains after you die, then they should probably be considered the owners of your corpse. But if a person dies alone, who owns it?

    My preferred solution is just to treat corpses as what they are: garbage that needs to be disposed of. Though that doesn't really help in this case.

  • ||

    My preferred solution is just to treat corpses as what they are: garbage that needs to be disposed of.

    This.

    After I'm dead, I don't particularly care who owns my body or how it's disposed of. Getting too hung up on the ownership of the body after the mind has long since left is fairly stupid, I think. If the government wants to turn my constituent parts into soylent green when I'm no longer consciously aware of them, or my next of kin want to build a rocket ship and use them to fertilize a greenhouse on Mars, what the fuck difference does it make to me?

  • HellsBells||

    If no one claims the body it becomes government property. They can bury it, cremate it or sell it to be used as a medical cadaver or research cadaver (eg. Colleges teaching anatomy or a body farm.)

  • BladeDoc||

    Nope. You're legally dead when a doctor declares you dead. The death certificate is the receipt. In normal circumstances you are in the ground rotting before the death certificate is filled out.

  • SIV||

    it seems reasonable and ethical to continue life support of a pregnant brain-dead woman if she had expressed a prior desire to complete her pregnancy.

    So prior to her illness Ms Munoz had scheduled an abortion?
    In that case pull the plug!

  • SugarFree||

    She expressed her desire not to be kept on a ventilator. The hospital is doing just that.

  • playa manhattan||

    It's for her own good.

  • SIV||

    Maybe she should have put it in writing.

  • SugarFree||

    She did. It's called a marriage license.

  • ||

    See how the homos have ruined it?!?

  • SugarFree||

    sarcasmic tried to warn us, but we just called him a closet case. [shakes head ruefully]

  • playa manhattan||

    Can't it be both?

  • Tonio||

    My evil plot is working. [Rubs palms together.]

    Mandatory post-mortem abortions for everyone!

  • ||

    Well our homo mayor getting gay married has driven HPD into ramping up their civil rights violations and our neighbors to rat each other out through apps.

  • ||

    My folks' homo mayor made sure their town was one of the few in CA that was completely in the black during the financial crisis.

  • SugarFree||

    We too have a gay mayor. He's slightly on the DL, but it's an open secret. It's the same for his libertarianism. It's kind of too bad that our mayor is constrained by a good-ole-boy city council riddled with crony-"capitalists."

  • ||

    She just got resoundingly reelected to her third term. She's been openly with her partner the entire time (indeed, for a long time before) and almost noone here gave a fuck. Now she gets married and some of the troglodytes have come out of the woods to complain. The marriage isn't even binding here.

  • playa manhattan||

    Mitch Ward or Mike Gin?

  • ||

    Mike Gin. Having heard him debate I'm not all that excited about him, but Redondo has done well under his aegis.

  • playa manhattan||

    Redondo has a weak mayor/strong council system, so he gets zero credit from me. He's not as big of a loon as Mitch Ward though. I've had the displeasure of dealing with him several times.

  • ||

    That's fair. I don't really know anything about Mitch Ward.

    Everything I've seen about Gin has been boringly moderate. I didn't realize he was a loon at all.

  • playa manhattan||

    My bad, I confused him with Ted Lieu (racist). I can't point to anything loony that Gin has done.

  • ||

    Oh yeah, Lieu was a nutter. That Ward is worse tells me a great deal.

  • 110 Lean||

    See how the homos have ruined it?!?

    Gold, Epi. Gold!

  • Tonio||

    They were both EMT's and thus have rather sophisticated views of life and death, and real-world experience that many of us had. If here wishes were to not be ventilated, one can reasonably assume that she was able to envision being pregnant and that her wish to not be ventilated included the circumstance of pregnancy.

    Remember folks, it's not some conscious entity in there listening to podcasts and reading the NYT.

  • SIV||

    one can reasonably assume that she was able to envision being pregnant and that her wish to not be ventilated included the circumstance of pregnancy.

    No. Or why not assume she was cognizant of Texas law and had no fear the DNR she failed to sign would apply if she was with child.

  • Tonio||

    "with child."

    SIV, meet Eddie; Eddie, SIV. You boys have fun talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, weeping statues, etc.

  • Swiss Servator, Befehl!||

    Isn't this a bit beneath you, tonio?

    As Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ put it "I'd be fine if he just accepted that people have a different view of personhood than him."

    If you insult them enough, do you think they will change their minds? Others will?

  • playa manhattan||

    The other day, he told somebody to die in a fire, and he didn't even include a smiley face!

  • ||

    "Dozens of men have been arrested in northern Nigeria for being gay."

    They do mean gay-gay, not gay as being retarded, right?

    It wasn't an outrageous DIAF.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And Tonio noted his selective calling out there. Why should no Tonio challenge the morally loaded assertion that a fetus is a 'child?'

  • ||

    Ever heard a pregnant women referred to as "with child?"

    It's a retarded argument, it doesn't matter what the entity is called. We disagree on whether that entity is a person or not.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Why be upset with Tonio for saying it is not a child but not with EvH for asserting it is? Certainly 'fetus' would be the more specific, neutral term to be used.

  • ||

    The whole thing began above when EvH made a long multiparagraph post addressing the article and all tonio responded with was this:

    Um, there is no "baby" Eddie. She's pregnant. There is a fetus. So when you start off with factually incorrect, emotional appeals, you get...

    That's it. No addressing the article or the argument at all. Which oddly enough is what people always accuse EvH of doing.

    And people do refer to fetuses as child or baby all the time, it's not some uncommon thing. It's not something to argue about or is in any way relevant to the actual arguments over abortion.

  • Tonio||

    I have addressed the actual arguments repeatedly, though did not do so in that post. You've been around here long enough to have seen that.

    Will you thusly come to my defense when someone sneers at one of my beliefs which is not well-received here?

  • ||

    I have, but in this case you didn't. And I'm not coming to his defense, he does bring up abortion in random threads. But for this article it's actually relevant, he was addressing the article, and you were the one attempting to troll and derail him by arguing the definition of a word.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If a fetus is a child in the same way as a four year old then of course no one would support abortion. When someone like EvH uses the words 'baby' and 'child' in a debate with people over this very thing they are gaming the debate, so I think Tonio is right and if anything it is EvH who deserves your rebuke. He certainly could say it is a fetus, which everybody on all sides of the debate would agree upon (of course the pro-life side would think a fetus is a child/baby, but they do not deny it is a fetus).

  • ||

    He does think of it as a child so he uses that word. Tonio is free to only use the word fetus. Neither are "gaming" the debate. You don't get to define the terms of the argument for someone else.

  • ||

    And I admittedly have participated in this derailing too. Have any of us convinced each other? Have we actually accomplished anything? No? Obviously not, it was all a waste of a thread.

  • SQRLSY One||

    No fetus can beat-us, bring yer own coat-hanger… You rape ‘em, we scrape ‘em… Come on DOWN!!! And last but not least… Now that we are on the verge of cloning those living cheek cells on your cheek linings every time you eat or brush yer teeth… Yer a MURDERING BAHSTAHD every time you eat something other than the most gentle fluids, or brush yer teeth!!!! DEAL with it, ya mass-murdering BAHSTAHD!!!

  • Seamus||

    People have been using the expression "with child" to mean "pregnant" for centuries. (The translators of the KJV (1610), for example, used it in Luke 2:5, and I doubt they were doing so in order to influence the debate over abortion.) So in common English usage, a fetus *is* a child. If you want to claim that that use is inaccurate, then you need to provide some kind of cogent argument leading up to that conclusion, not just assert it and insist that all arguments are invalid unless they use terms according to your definition.

  • M. Samuels||

    Jahi McMath experienced massive bleeding due to a rare complication from a tonsillectomy performed to relieve her sleep apnea

    Fat people got...no reason to live...

  • Ken Shultz||

    They'd get better care from a free market, consumer driven, private sector health care system, too.

  • Mark22||

    The first step to better care for obese people in a private market would be that their insurance rates would rise to astronomical levels once they got above a BMI of 25-30, thereby motivating them strongly to lose weight.

  • doreenwarrenoan||

    my roomate's half-sister makes $89 hourly on the laptop . She has been fired for eight months but last month her pay was $20094 just working on the laptop for a few hours. blog link........
    http://www.Jobs84.com

  • Tonio||

    But does she have a DNR order on file? Medical POA?

  • SugarFree||

    The hard-drive on the laptop died, but she keeps it plugged in to charge her iPod.

  • 110 Lean||

    $89 for an hour-long lap-dance seems reasonable.

  • Tim||

    "In both cases, the next of kin who believe that they are looking out for the best interests of their loved ones may be making a mistake. It should, however, be their mistake to make, without the intrusion of the government or the interference of paternalistic physicians."

    What he said.

  • Tonio||

    But if the NoK can't come to a resolution, then what? I think it's a legitimate function of the state to determine who is actually NoK.

  • ||

    Only if there's no other directive from the patient would that be okay, and even then it gets fairly arbitrary. It's a necessity in our modern medical landscape though.

  • PapayaSF||

    The McMath case is interesting and weird. Mom talks kid into surgery. In the recovery room, she's supposed to be quiet and be careful about eating. Family shows up and has a party, kid eats, starts bleeding, and either the mother or grandmother (I've forgotten) who is a nurse, starts suctioning blood before calling in the nurses on duty. Kid goes brain dead, and AFAIK, nobody ever "recovers" from that. It's not like a coma. The nurse in the family should know this. But the family is "hoping for a miracle." Kid's body begins to decay. Cynicism grows as family is suspected of doing all this to distract from their own missteps and to prepare for a $$$$$$$ lawsuit.

  • Tonio||

    Well, Mango, there's nurses and then there's nurses. LPN's (bedpan nurses) are pretty low level. Then at the other end you have RN's with BSN's. Would be interested to know what sort of nurse the relative was.

  • 110 Lean||

    Man-up and die, people. Man-up and die.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I resent your sexism, it really should be, PERSON up and die! Dang it! … I for one REFUSE to person up and die! When my time comes, I will DEMAND that y’all taxpayers and insurance buyers pay for my aromatherapy, my booze therapy, my wild-sex-partners-therapy, my Native American Sweat Lodge Therapy, my zero-gravity-therapy trip to space, and my Every Taxpayer In The Local Galactic Cluster Must Suck My Butt Therapy… I’m Here and I’m Queer, so DEAL with it ya BAHSTAHDS!!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    PS, when I say that, I mean all ye BAHSTAHDS who are NOT my betrothed or my sons or my daughters or my nieces or nephews or brothers or sisters or my FAVORED friends or relatives, I do NOT want to burden THEM with my outrageous demands for another few nanoseconds on this “mortal coil”, it is all ye OTHER worthless BAHSTAHDS who I want to PAY AND PAY AND PAY to prop me up… And MY beloved ones will PROTEST strongly that I DESERVE to hang on a little longer, perhaps in compensation for their guilt that they never could find time to visit me in my last few lingering years on the stinkin’ sad planet… Screw you, give me mine, and I am SO glad that Government Almighty is in MY corner on this…

  • ||

    Saw the comment count, thought to myself, "Hey, I bet EvH is shitting all over this thread."

    I was correct. Who would've guessed?

  • SugarFree||

    You did. You would've guessed, because you guessed.

    It's like the intelligent design argument about the astronomical odds required for the Earth to be in the right place for life to arise. What are the real odds that life would arise on Earth? 1:1. Because life already did arise on Earth. If the odds were any different there wouldn't be anyone to ask the question.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    "everybody's gotta be somewhere"

    http://www.metrolyrics.com/eve.....eeves.html

  • M. Samuels||

    Oddly, most of the people who complain about "shitting all over the thread" are participants in the shitfest. I guess it's a symbiotic relationship.

  • Bramblyspam||

    "It's true," he admitted: "She's been improving ever since she died."

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This sounds like a nightmare concocted by Ayn Rand, the state forcing a dead woman to carry her baby to term, against the wishes of her surviving spouse.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Sooo...autopsies are OK even if the relatives want the body intact, if this is needed for evidence gathering. Sometimes disinterment can be justified when a murder case is reopened.

    Bodies of people who die of contagious disease can be destroyed - to protect life. If the family objects, so what?

    A family can't keep the body of a loved one at home to express their love. There are rules about burial.

    But the family's wishes must prevail if they want to cut a baby off life support! Don't you believe in family autonomy?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think a family should be able to keep a the body of a loved one at home. If the life in question that is protected by the burning of a body is the one who does not want that body burned I would oppose that as well.

  • 110 Lean||

    What the Munoz case clearly demonstrates is that males have no right to terminate a pregnancy.

  • bassjoe||

    If the family can pay for the treatment of their breathing corpse and can find a hospital to continue the "treatment", let them. The state shouldn't force the issue one way or another.

    I'm pissed about the California case, however. The scumbag lawyer for the family has been absolutely bashing nationally-renowned privately-run Oakland's Children Hospital, practically the only good thing about that city until about a decade ago, that has saved countless children's lives. If this libel and lawsuit prevents ONE child from getting necessary care, that will be the travesty.

  • ||

    The fucking Shiavo case all over again.

  • Mark22||

    As long as insurance or the public doesn't have to pay, and as long as doctors aren't forced to participate in the perversion of keeping a brain-dead corpse animated, I don't care.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Other things being equal, I am opposed to state intervention in end-of-life decisions, one way or the other. However, in the Munoz case all other things are not equal.

    Even in a limited government Libertarian state, the protection of life -- the non-aggression principle -- is a state priority. The unborn child has a right to life. Even if the odds are low, the child has a right to that chance. The fact that the mother is brain dead is actually a simplifying condition for me: since she is brain dead, she doesn't really have any competing claims that override the unborn child's claim to life.

  • ||

    This gets at the same problem Tonio ran into in that there is no unified ethical standpoint on the rights of a fetus. And even if we do grant the fetus full human rights, including the right to life, is it entitled to an incubator regardless of the wishes of the deceased or the cost to the living? The standard libertarian disclaimer on health care is that you're not entitled to enslave someone else without compensation. If the fetus has all the same rights as any other human being, it still doesn't have the right to uncompensated medical care anymore than anybody else does. Of course, if you can find doctors to volunteer their time and resources or donors to raise the requisite money, you still bump into the wishes/directives of the deceased and how they should be weighted.

  • KayMcKinnen||

    My Uncle Wyatt recently got a fantastic silver Mitsubishi Lancer just by part-time work from a computer... this article ◢◥ WWW.JOBS37.COM

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