Court Ordered Medical Treatment for Pregnant Women

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    Yeah, I saw the article on Drudge. But, I don't know what his goal was - was he going after the pro-lifers that would support the state or the privacy folks that would have supported her.

    Me? I'm not sure what I think. While there needs to be a certain level of obligation on a woman to not engage in activities that will endanger the well-being of the fetus/child, reaching the point of a court order in this case (or the other cases mentioned at the end of the article) seems overreaching. Yet, I'm hardpressed to come up with a hard and fast line.

    I am curious to know why she refused an abortion, engaged in activities that she had to know would endanger the fetus, went to the hospital to try and have the baby saved, and then complained when compelled to do what was believed by hospital staff to be the best way of saving the kid.

    Pushed, I'd say that the judge went too far in ordering treatment at the hospital. I would have preferred an order to obtain at home nursing services or confinement at the hospital of her choice, over detention at the specific hospital. But the underlying decision, to confine her for the protection of the fetus, was acceptable as she had progressed far enough in the pregnancy to viability and the state had a compelling reason to intervene to protect the fetus. Had it been much earlier in the pregnancy, I would have sided with her.

    Oh, and who paid for the care? The hospital sought the order, so I hope it was at their expense.
     
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #2
    Not having an abortion and then trying to harm the foetus is pretty sick.
     
  3. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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  4. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Lets see, the government through the use of force was interfering with this woman's reproductive choice. So apparently she would have been OK provided she aborted the child or didn't smoke while pregnant. In other words, she allowed freedom of choice provided it is approved choice.

    As for Drudge's motive, probably on two fronts, oppressive government intervention into someone's life and the hypocritical nature of it. If she had just aborted the baby none of this would have happened, that she didn't meant the government could decide how she continued her pregnancy. As long as the government people were "doing good in their own minds" your rights don't count.

    I wonder if they want to charge her with manslaughter... why not, only the government has the right to approve the taking of life.
     
  5. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #5
    I agree that only the government, acting on behalf of society, should have the right to approve situations where the taking of life is appropriate. Currently, the government has determined that both abortions, capital punishment, and war (declared or otherwise) are the only instances where the premeditated acts of killing are justified.

    Like the SLC case, I would suspect that child endangerment would be more appropriate and a better use of prosecutorial effort. Demonstrating the link between her actions and the actual stillbirth may be difficult and costly, while child endangerment should be an easy conviction.

    While I fall more in line with the pro-life camp (although my position is nowhere near fixed - it may be my most consistently evolving position), there is an obvious distinction between the abortion and the situation here. In an abortion, the intent is to terminate the pregnancy and cut off life support to the fetus. It is predictable that all development ceases, and the unviable infant subsequently dies. With this issue at hand, smoking creates health and development impediments that damage the fetus without assuring that it will terminate. By doing so, it places the fetus in a position where the infant may be dysfunctional.

    Your position, that the government was acting as an oppressor, is especially inappropriate here, as there is a compelling interest in safeguarding the integrity of health of children carried to term. The drain on medical, economic, and social resources as a result of "imperfect" children is great enough as a result of natural processes. Augmentation of that cost under the guise of "personal choice" is unjustifiable.
     
  6. 184550 Guest

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    May 8, 2008
    #6
    I pretty much agree with what Grodin says at the end of the article.

    Doctors should never seek court orders to force medical care upon individuals but I do think that these people should be forced to at least listen to the available treatment options and the pros and cons of seeking or not seeking care.
     
  7. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #7
    I think this blanket statement betrays the intricacies of what doctors are faced with. In some cases magistrate orders for treatment are absolutely necessary for an individuals wellbeing. The field of mental health being a good case. One would not want to leave treatment decisions to someone who is unable to make them - such as someone having a psychotic episode. Likewise those who are suffering dementia for instance really don't have the faculty to make their own decisions. Sometimes a court decision is absolutely necessary.

    I disagree with this. If an individual doesn't want to hear all the treatment options available they shouldn't be forced to do so. They should be given the opportunity to discuss alternative treatment options and the doctor actively should attempt to discuss such details (which is how informed consent currently works). But an individual should have the ability to refuse if they so wish.
     
  8. 184550 Guest

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    #8
    I made the assumption that we were talking about cases similar to the one mentioned above by the OP. If we're talking about other segments of society as you've mentioned, then I agree with the statements that you made above.


    I'm not saying they should be dragged kicking and screaming into a doctors office but that they should be informed by a doctor whether it's at his office or at a clinic or in the courthouse about the pros and cons of treatment for their specific case.
     

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