Clinically brain-dead pregnant woman kept alive to save baby against parents wishes

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Softail, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. Softail

    Softail New Member

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    This is in Ireland. Reminds me of Marlise Munoz all over again. :notgood: The title of the article is incorrect. She isn't being kept "alive" if she is brain dead. :doh:

    Clinically brain-dead pregnant woman being kept alive to save the baby -- against parents' wishes

    A 16-weeks pregnant woman is being kept alive on life support to save her unborn baby, despite being pronounced brain-dead by Ireland's leading neurosurgeons, reported the Irish Independent. The woman's parents, however, are demanding their daughter be allowed to die.

    The story has sparked heated debate whether or not Ireland should reconsider legalizing abortion.


    http://abc7chicago.com/health/clini...man-being-kept-alive-to-save-the-baby/442621/
     
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  3. Tssiemer

    Tssiemer Well-Known Member

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    This isn't even an abortion issue. If the mom dies the fetus dies with her. Where the hell did abortion debate come from.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Softail

    Softail New Member

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    The same thing happened last year to a woman in Texas (Marlise Munoz). Her family wanted to let her die, but the State wouldn't allow it due to abortion issues. After a long battle, the family won.

    Very sad, no matter how you look at it. :(
     
  5. necco

    necco New Member

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    The way the constitution is written in Ireland (the 8th amendment) mothers and unborn babies have equal rights. This was written to outlaw abortion, but applies in this situation.

    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/1983/en/act/cam/0008/print.html

    "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

    The doctors' hands are tied. They are bound by law and statute to protect the life of the fetus. That's why abortion is coming into the debate, because this is a consequence of the amendment designed to outlaw abortion.

    The easiest legal way out of this is to find a medical reason to transfer her to a hospital in the North, as then she would be in the UK, not the Republic of Ireland. I don't know if that can be done though.
     
  6. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I'm curious as to why no mention is made of a father in the linked article.

    ***

    I don't understand why those who are anti-abortion oppose letting the pregnancy go to term. Who is suffering here? Surely not the mother, who has no functioning brain to even be aware of the pregnancy.

    The grandparents? What is their "agony"? When the baby is born, they can keep it or put it up for adoption.

    The fetus? If the fetus is at risk, that isn't mentioned at the link.
     
  7. panthera

    panthera Retired WS Staff

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    Not being in the medical profession, I am curious if the fetus is at risk being the mother is approximately 16 weeks (4 months) pregnant and the fetus still has much development in order to be viable. Is the fetus receiving proper nutrition in the womb if the mother is unable to eat food? Are IV's enough?

    :(

    MOO
     
  8. Tssiemer

    Tssiemer Well-Known Member

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    Uhm the fetus is in a dead person. That's risk enough.


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  9. necco

    necco New Member

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    My guess is that the father is not married to the woman in question, thus making the parents next-of-kin and leaving him with no legal say. Another possibility is that he either supports keeping her alive or is too distraught to talk to the media.
     
  10. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    But it's apparently less risk than a forced birth at 12 weeks!
     
  11. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Just to be clear, I have no problem with letting the grandparents decide. But then I'm pro-choice.

    I was just curious as to why anti-abortion people would support what is essentially a forced abortion if the machines are turned off.
     
  12. Softail

    Softail New Member

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    I think this is a very difficult situation. As to why the father is not mentioned? Who knows???? There could be so many reasons, that I don't want to speculate.

    I tend to side with the family. I am not pro or anti abortion. I don't care.... I think it is an individual right to choose what you want. Since she cannot choose, I think her family should be able to decide, as with Marlise Munoz. And make no mistake, the decision cannot be easy for the family. I don't believe that at all. Like I said before, very sad all the way around. :(
     
  13. Dogface

    Dogface Active Member

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    I'm torn on these issues, as I know when I was pregnant if something had happened to me, but my unborn child not harmed, I would want them to do whatever they could to try and let the fetus reach as close to term as they could. But I know not every thinks the same way as I do, and I'm really not sure where I stand on this issue.

    ETA: I do believe at this point the father should have more say in it than her family as it is his child too.
     
  14. TrackerSam

    TrackerSam New Member

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    Risk to who? As is the baby has a chance. She's brain dead. Let her die and the baby dies. Keep her alive and the baby might die.
    Who's at risk?
     
  15. necco

    necco New Member

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    The family has no say. That's why it is going to court. It is cut and dry what Irish law allows in this situation and that is to preserve the life of the fetus. The parents are challenging the Constitution of their country.

    (Note: I'm not saying either option is for the best, just what Irish law states.)
     
  16. K_Z

    K_Z Verified Anesthetist

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    I think it's immensely sad and frustrating that these cases continue to be enveloped in the ongoing debate about legal abortion. IMO, these particular cases of brain dead women have just nothing to do with legal abortion.

    As a health care professional, I think it's of most importance to look at the total circumstances of what happened to cause the mother to become brain dead, as well as the viability of the fetus. IMO, if the fetus is under 20-22ish weeks (the brink of possible viability, albeit with a lot of complications), we shouldn't even be trying to continue the gestation, IMO. It moves the entire issue of continuing the brain dead mother's organ support into the area of higly irresponsible medical experimentation, IMO. There just isn't enough solid medical information in this area to justify the experimentation, IMO, and setting up appropriate ethical research studies has not been pursued by any scientists or professionals.

    If the fetus is already on the verge of viability, and the family wishes to try to gestate a bit longer to improve the child's chances of living, AND the physicians think this is a situation with a potential for a living baby, then I think it's okay to try for a couple days or weeks. When the fetus is nowhere near viability, it's irresponsible and unethical-- perhaps even immoral, to try, IMO.

    I also think it's nearly impossible to get a bunch of lawmakers to write language that is medically reasonable in these circumstances. It's impossible to keep legal elective abortion out of the discussions (which is intentional, IMO), even though these situations have nothing at all to do with abortion.

    There are many circumstances (like trauma, car accidents, etc) under which a brain dead mother can be delivered of a viable fetus, and there are many, many, more circumstances where the mother's cardiac arrest was simply too prolonged for any kind of a good outcome for the baby. It's simply too complex to be written into law, IMO.
     
  17. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Active Member

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    Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland too.

    It will be the Supreme Court that decides whether she is kept on life support or not, and I expect it will all hinge on the medical evidence. The Eighth Amendment upholds the unborn's right to life "where practicable", not as an absolute, so it will be the evidence of the doctors which determines what is practicable here.
     
  18. TrackerSam

    TrackerSam New Member

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    Why? Mom's already brain dead. Trying to save a life is never unethical or immoral IMO. I don't understand the "lets let it die now cause it might not survive" attitude.
    Fetus is 16 wks, mother died of a blood clot.
     
  19. necco

    necco New Member

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    The rules in the North are much less stringent, as evidence by the availability of a medical abortion up until week 9 for certain non-life-threatening conditions. There's a clinic in Belfast that offers them. It is private and outside the NHS, but it is there. I still think they'd have a much easier time if she was in NI.
     
  20. Cappuccino

    Cappuccino Active Member

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    The rules in NI on abortion are much of a muchness with those in the Republic, the only difference is that the North allows a termination if there is a long term health risk to the mother whereas the Republic allows a termination if there is a risk of suicide. This case would end up being decided by a court on either side of the border, and that is the right way to decide it. Neither the NHS in the UK, nor the HSE in the ROI, allow next of kin a veto on whether a life support machine should be turned off or not - they have the right to be consulted and that's it. So when there's a dispute between the doctors and the next of kin, it should be an impartial judge who decides.

    Besides I don't think its right at all to deal with a real life situation which involves a constitutional issue by passing it along to our next door neighbour. The Irish people voted the Eighth Amendment into the constitution and we need to deal with the implications of that ourselves, not pass the buck to another country.
     
  21. Supernovae

    Supernovae Member

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    I've seen different reports describing it as head trauma leading to a blood clot, and a blood clot leading to head trauma. I suppose a lot hinges on whether it was a tbi leading to blood clots to the brain, a stroke or an embolus leading to cardiac arrest leading to hypoxic brain damage.
     

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