Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Life: What is it good for?

You may have noticed, but I'm pretty much taking a "throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks" approach to blogging today (Thanks Fark). With that in mind, here are three articles I found interesting, and actually quite related:

Yuval Levin Dissects the results of the Amendment 2 vote in Missouri
Church of England wants to let sick newborns die
Doctor to pay support for unwanted baby after birth control device fails

They're all interesting articles, and I could do a big write-up on all three of them. I won't, of course; I'm feeling too lazy for that today. But I notice a trend floating through these three articles: Respect for human life.

I'm one of those people who argue that there is something intrisically special about human life, that ending the life of another person should be carefully considered and not taken lightly. I've argued about slippery slopes with people, and there are many who think that the "slippery slope" argument is faulty logic. And sometimes it is. But consider the evidence before us: A state consitutional amendment guaranteeing the creation of human embryos for the purpose of destroying them; A major Christian sect declaring that some life just isn't worth trying to save; A mother suing a doctor because she never wanted her son.

Think what you will, but I see a disturbing trend, and I'd rather not think about where this could lead.


-Murphy said...

The last one's basically just a malpractice suit, though. If the doctor somehow screwed up the control method (evidently the implant was just plain gone), she might have a case that he didn't do what she paid him to do, and "child support" is just the judge's way of dividing up what is a pretty meager malpractice suit at $166,104. I'm not sure how she's going to explain that to her kid, but knowing that you're not in a position to have a kid and attempting to take steps to prevent that from happening doesn't seem like a disrespect of life to me. It's possible that she did want kids later in life, that she'll be a fine mother, but knew she couldn't afford it now. And it's more likely to stick than if she was trying to claim support after she'd been on the pill or some method of birth control that demands she actually do something, while this was essentially a body modification that the doctor botched.

After all, she did, you know, have the kid and didn't put it up for adoption. Wikipedia's claiming that abortions are illegal in Germany, but that the illegality isn't actually enforced. As all of my studies as a German minor were about the postwar era and not legal statutes, I have no clue what that means.

Also, in case you hadn't seen that in the article (I think that's the same one, I read it yesterday on fark), the Church of England is also throwing its support behind actively euthanizing severely disabled babies, in addition to allowing them to die naturally.

So there's that.

Hal said...

Yeah, I realize that it comes off as a malpractice suit. Still. Why not go with adoption? This whole "I didn't want you but I'm keeping you anyhow" theme is really bizarre.

The critical part here is the "explaining it to her kid" part. That kid, when he's old enough to understand, will probably feel less than worthwhile to his mother if she was suing this doctor for damages. Is the child wrong to feel that way?

-Murphy said...

Depends. Hopefully she'll try to soften it by explaining the circumstances. That's really more of a respect for someone's feelings, though, as opposed to a respect for life issue.

I agree that it's a bizarre situation.

Hal said...

Actually, I thought of something else here.

The article doesn't say what the birth control implant was. Perhaps this implant can be digested by the body?

If so, I don't see the doctor as being at fault. But then, we don't know enough information to make that call.