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View Diary: Husband of brain-dead TX woman sues hospital for refusing to turn off life support (123 comments)

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  •  This test case has been long time coming (40+ / 0-)

    The TX law preventing health care providers from ending life support for pregnant women is anything but "obscure," as the article claims. Thirty-seven states have a variation of this law on the books, some preventing pregnant women or their medical power of attorney from enforcing advance medical directives, others preventing health care providers from ending life support for pregnant women at various stages of gestation, from conception to viability. Just another front on the fetal personhood battleground, one that, until this case started to gain attention, most people remained unaware of.

    •  News to most of us. And that's truly pathetic. (0+ / 0-)

      Unless, of course, the family wants it to happen and the child has a good chance of viability.

    •  It is actually more complicated than you may (0+ / 0-)


      Roe vs. Wade was based on the right to privacy.  That probably comes from previous rulings on rights to use contraception which were based on that right.

      A corpse has no rights - so obviously no right to privacy.

      Does the husband of a dead woman have any kind of privacy right with respect to her body?  I seriously doubt it.  Saying that he does opens up many cans of worms.  For example, most previous rulings on privacy have been tied to sexual autonomy.  I seriously doubt that any judge will want to issue a ruling that could be taken to mean that the government cannot prohibit necrophilia with the body of one's dead spouse.  There would also be less stomache turning issues like whether that would give the husband the right to stuff his wife's body and display it in his living room.

      If there are no privacy rights then the state can presumably mandate how the body will be handled, including maintaining it on life support as long as there is a remotely viable fetus within it unless the court is willing to find a whole new basis for justifying abortion rights that is separate from Roe vs. Wade.

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