Skip to main content

View Diary: Irish Law, "Conscience Clauses," & Needless Death: Three Questions About Savita Halappanavar's Death (7 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  LNK, there's a diary up right now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, peregrine kate

    that contains two excellent letters written to Irish politicians, both cancelling their travel plans to Ireland an both saying they will buy no more Irish products until women's lives are protected.  Email addresses galore:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    A couple of days ago, in a different diary, someone posted (in Comments) the American Bishops' 'guidance' on such situations.  Here's the comment link: http://www.dailykos.com/...

    And here's the American Bishops quote:

    http://old.usccb.org/...

    The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERD) Directive 45, states:
    Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo.

    The phrase "sole immediate effect" is further explained by Directive 47 which states:

    Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.

    In other words, it is permitted to treat directly a pathology of the mother even when this has the unintended side-effect of causing the death of her child, if this pathology left untreated would have life-threatening effects on both mother and child, but it is not permitted to terminate or gravely risk the child's life as a means of treating or protecting the mother.

    The commentor and I had a back-and-forth, and here's my analysis:
    They APPEAR to make a distinction
     Here's the larger quote I based my comment on:

    Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.

    In other words, it is permitted to treat directly a pathology of the mother even when this has the unintended side-effect of causing the death of her child, if this pathology left untreated would have life-threatening effects on both mother and child, but it is not permitted to terminate or gravely risk the child's life as a means of treating or protecting the mother.

    Two points here.  
    1. (italics above) I wrote that "pathology can be treated, even if risky to both mother and child, if withholding treatment risks the life of both mother and child."  In this, fetal death as an " unintended side-effect" of treatment is permissible.

    Contrast 1 with the condition slipped in after the 'but':

    2. (bold above) I wrote "if treating (saving) the mother 'gravely risks' the child's life, the American Bishops say: Do not treat or protect the mother.  Let the mother die."

    but it is not permitted to terminate or gravely risk the child's life as a means of treating or protecting the mother.
    The Bishop's statement says quite clearly:  Do not treat or protect the mother if treating or protecting with '"terminate or gravely risk the child's life."  I stand by my statement.

    Now here's the part that chilled me to the bone.  Yesterday, I went over to ThinkProgress.  They had an article describing how Ohio state legislators are introducing a new anti-abortion bill using 'fetal heartbeat' as the basis for refusing an abortion.  According to the Guardian article on the Irish case, it was the fact that the Indian woman's fetus still had a heartbeat (as late as three days into the miscarriage) that was the basis of the decision not to abort.  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/...)

    Ireland.  Ohio.  What's the difference?  Chilling.

    •  Exactly. I think it is high time for a boycott (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CroneWit

      of Irish goods & services and travel to Ireland. This must not stand a moment longer.
      What a tragedy for Ms. Halappanavar. What a terrible waste of her life. Even if change finally comes about because of her unnecessary death, it cannot make up for that wrong.
      I hope those who committed malpractice and let her die are sued for all they are worth and pushed out of medical practice permanently.

      I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

      by peregrine kate on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:52:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site