Medical Dilemma

Discussion for Christian perspectives on ethical issues such as abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and so forth.
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Ivellious
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Medical Dilemma

#1

Post by Ivellious » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:32 am

So while I was watching a television show a rather interesting moral/ethical issue (to me, anyway) came up. In a nutshell, a young woman and her husband go to the hospital for potential issues with her current pregnancy, which is pretty far along. They find out that she has a very deadly and very fast-moving illness, and that delaying treatment is likely a death sentence for her. The treatment, however, would terminate the pregnancy prematurely. The doctors say that if she has a c-section and delivers the baby now, the premature child has an 80% chance of survival. She wants to not undergo the treatment and wait several weeks until she can have the baby at close to full term, even if she will certainly be dead soon thereafter. Her husband wants her to have the c-section and then undergo treatment, saying he would rather have her stay alive, even if the baby dies in the process.

To me, I'm torn on the issue (and hope I am never, ever in a similar situation, obviously). But what do you think? Is the husband a bad person or morally wrong to want his wife to live over the child? Is the wife a bad person for effectively forcing her husband to care for her child knowing she will die in the process? I can make an argument for both sides on both questions, personally.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#2

Post by Silvertusk » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:58 am

I think in this situation is the only time where it is morally right to potentially terminate a pregnancy. But in this case there is a high chance that the baby will survive. If it was my wife I would force her to have the C-section and deal with the consequences later. As harsh as it sounds - I think the wife in this situation is being selfish and frankly quite stupid.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#3

Post by Byblos » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:28 am

80% chance of survival is better than 0% percent. I say try to save both.
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#4

Post by Thadeyus » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:47 am

It sounds like a terrible situation indeed for the pair.

My thoughts are also for the lass to undergo the c-section. For the poor wee babe to be put through the trauma of premature birth (The wonders of modern medical science that allows the little tike to survive this is, I find, amazing).

Of note and I don't mean to be disrespectful, but what were the chances for the lass when she undergoes her treatment for said medical problem?

Sadly, this is a situation where one can only hope that those involved have the odds on their side and all pull through.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#5

Post by B. W. » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:02 am

Ivellious wrote:So while I was watching a television show a rather interesting moral/ethical issue (to me, anyway) came up. In a nutshell, a young woman and her husband go to the hospital for potential issues with her current pregnancy, which is pretty far along. They find out that she has a very deadly and very fast-moving illness, and that delaying treatment is likely a death sentence for her. The treatment, however, would terminate the pregnancy prematurely. The doctors say that if she has a c-section and delivers the baby now, the premature child has an 80% chance of survival. She wants to not undergo the treatment and wait several weeks until she can have the baby at close to full term, even if she will certainly be dead soon thereafter. Her husband wants her to have the c-section and then undergo treatment, saying he would rather have her stay alive, even if the baby dies in the process.

To me, I'm torn on the issue (and hope I am never, ever in a similar situation, obviously). But what do you think? Is the husband a bad person or morally wrong to want his wife to live over the child? Is the wife a bad person for effectively forcing her husband to care for her child knowing she will die in the process? I can make an argument for both sides on both questions, personally.
I think this a moral equivalency fallacy ... and used to play on emotions based on a very rare condition in hopes of cementing a pro-abortion stance by pitting anti-abortion morals against anti abortion standards. A typically designed ploy well honed in by the left in the this country...

I think we need to stop using moral equivalency fallacy for political wins and deal with the matter as this in a realistic manner and respects what a real husband and wife desire and not on a propaganda TV show. Ultimately in a real life event as this, it is the spouses decision and their doctors - not politicians.

By the way, how did the TV show end?
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#6

Post by RickD » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:06 am

B. W. wrote:
I think this a moral equivalency fallacy ... and used to play on emotions based on a very rare condition in hopes of cementing a pro-abortion stance by pitting anti-abortion morals against anti abortion standards. A typically designed ploy well honed in by the left in the this country...
B. W.,

You're nothing but a bigoted, leftophobe! Or liberalophobe! :mrgreen:
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#7

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:31 am

Abortion isn't part of the discussion. The doctors may have to perform a procedure to save the woman's life that they are relatively sure will end in the child's death, but that doesn't make it an abortion. Something is an abortion when it is intended to abort the pregnancy, which is to say, to kill the child. As Byblos said, a 20% survival rate isn't nothing, so there is nothing morally unacceptable about the husband's preference. With that said, given the details offered in the OP, there's nothing morally objectionable in the mother's request, either. I can sympathize with the husband, and it needs to be very clear that if she dies, then she will be leaving behind a husband and a child (or children). It's easy to romanticize the notion of giving your life for your child. It's commendable and natural. But it needs to be put in the broadest context to be sure that it is also the wise thing to do. But if it is, then if she is willing to take the chance, then there is nothing that say she is morally bound to follow her husband's preference.

I am leaving out, by the way, discussions over the contentious issue of the husband's role as head of the household.

Anyway, given this, I don't see a moral dilemma at all. Either option is morally acceptable. Both options carry emotionally difficult risks, but neither has a moral component. This is just one of those sad situations that happens in life in which major grief is a likely outcome no matter which you choose. They'll need serious grief counseling when all this is done. They don't need ethical counseling or absolution.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#8

Post by 1over137 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:43 am

Silvertusk wrote:I think in this situation is the only time where it is morally right to potentially terminate a pregnancy. But in this case there is a high chance that the baby will survive. If it was my wife I would force her to have the C-section and deal with the consequences later. As harsh as it sounds - I think the wife in this situation is being selfish and frankly quite stupid.
I believe women want the best for their babies. I so far do not know what is it like to be pregnant, but I do know from friends and family members (women) that never they wish to somehow hurt the baby. At some point, the baby must be taken out, because the illness could also effect the baby.

Unfortunately, doctors in fact killed baby (which was to be first for them) to married couple very close to me in my family. You cannot imagine (I cannot too) how hard is to tackle this.

Anyway, the couple needs to be one in this situation. They need to talk and love each other.
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
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For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#9

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:07 pm

Ivellious, I'm not really sure I see the moral dilemma.

Firstly, the instances are rare if not near impossible that a decision needs to come down to choosing one life over the other: http://www.abort73.com/end_abortion/is_ ... justified/.

Secondly, I just don't see that the husband is choosing here one life over the other.

C-sections are on the rise, and babies can survive early on. So the husband isn't opting to kill the baby. The main issue with premature babies is their lung development, as this happens in the later stages. I know, because I've had two babies come 6/7 weeks early. However, they can deliver a drug especially in this instance, that will help the baby's lungs to develop and let it be delivered in a much more stable condition.

So, as long as the desire is to save both lives (since it is not an issue of choosing one over the other), then the husband is morally justified, and the mother is morally justified.

The probabilities presented however seem to tell someone is trying to inject some sort of moral agenda re: abortion or something. Am I misreading this? Are you able to elaborate what the show you were watching may have been trying to push in this respect re: abortion?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr62wFXxVlc[/youtube]
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Ivellious
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#10

Post by Ivellious » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:15 pm

Ivellious, I'm not really sure I see the moral dilemma.

Firstly, the instances are rare if not near impossible that a decision needs to come down to choosing one life over the other: http://www.abort73.com/end_abortion/is_ ... justified/.

Secondly, I just don't see that the husband is choosing here one life over the other.

C-sections are on the rise, and babies can survive early on. So the husband isn't opting to kill the baby. The main issue with premature babies is their lung development, as this happens in the later stages. I know, because I've had two babies come 6/7 weeks early. However, they can deliver a drug especially in this instance, that will help the baby's lungs to develop and let it be delivered in a much more stable condition.

So, as long as the desire is to save both lives (since it is not an issue of choosing one over the other), then the husband is morally justified, and the mother is morally justified.

The probabilities presented however seem to tell someone is trying to inject some sort of moral agenda re: abortion or something. Am I misreading this? Are you able to elaborate what the show you were watching may have been trying to push in this respect re: abortion?
I don't really get this post. I never intended for this to become a big abortion debate, and the situation I presented has nothing to do with abortion, in my opinion. The woman wants to die to give her child a better chance at living after birth...the husband wants her to have the baby early (risking its health to a certain degree) and save his wife's life. There is no "abortion" option.

I don't disagree that babies born early can live using medical technology, but they are still at a greater risk of dying young or having health complications than if they are born later...this is what the mother in this case is hoping to avoid, through sacrificing her own life.
I think this a moral equivalency fallacy ... and used to play on emotions based on a very rare condition in hopes of cementing a pro-abortion stance by pitting anti-abortion morals against anti abortion standards. A typically designed ploy well honed in by the left in the this country...

I think we need to stop using moral equivalency fallacy for political wins and deal with the matter as this in a realistic manner and respects what a real husband and wife desire and not on a propaganda TV show. Ultimately in a real life event as this, it is the spouses decision and their doctors - not politicians.

By the way, how did the TV show end?
Again, personally I didn't see this as pro-abortion vs. pro-life or anything like that. The dilemma presented in the show was more about the mother's life than the baby's life, and whether she was right to end her own life to give her child a better shot at living.

As far as how the show ended, despite her husband (and the doctors) pleading their case that she would be better off having the child prematurely and undergoing the treatment, she chose to not get treatment and wait until her child was ready to be born. She winds up going into cardiac arrest, falls unconscious and the husband (now in charge of her medical decisions by default) tells the doctors to go ahead with the early c-section and try to get her into treatment immediately after. The child does survive, but by this point the wife had waited too long and she dies before her illness can be treated. I guess you could say it wasn't exactly spun as a "happy" ending, but definitely thoughtful.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#11

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:23 pm

Ivellious wrote:To me, I'm torn on the issue (and hope I am never, ever in a similar situation, obviously). But what do you think? Is the husband a bad person or morally wrong to want his wife to live over the child? Is the wife a bad person for effectively forcing her husband to care for her child knowing she will die in the process? I can make an argument for both sides on both questions, personally.
Obviously, if you take one life over the child, than the child needs to be killed. That isn't the situation... I agree.

But many others here have also obviously misunderstood your words. I'm sure you can see there are obvious undertones throughout, even if you did not intend them.
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Re: Medical Dilemma

#12

Post by PaulSacramento » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:20 am

Ivellious wrote:So while I was watching a television show a rather interesting moral/ethical issue (to me, anyway) came up. In a nutshell, a young woman and her husband go to the hospital for potential issues with her current pregnancy, which is pretty far along. They find out that she has a very deadly and very fast-moving illness, and that delaying treatment is likely a death sentence for her. The treatment, however, would terminate the pregnancy prematurely. The doctors say that if she has a c-section and delivers the baby now, the premature child has an 80% chance of survival. She wants to not undergo the treatment and wait several weeks until she can have the baby at close to full term, even if she will certainly be dead soon thereafter. Her husband wants her to have the c-section and then undergo treatment, saying he would rather have her stay alive, even if the baby dies in the process.

To me, I'm torn on the issue (and hope I am never, ever in a similar situation, obviously). But what do you think? Is the husband a bad person or morally wrong to want his wife to live over the child? Is the wife a bad person for effectively forcing her husband to care for her child knowing she will die in the process? I can make an argument for both sides on both questions, personally.

80% chance of survival?
Why is there even a debate?
No child has a 100% chance of survival anyways.
That BOTH can be saved is amazing.
Not every mother-to-be that has been found with a serious illness is so blessed.

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Re: Medical Dilemma

#13

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:01 pm

Thought this was kind of relevant to the situation presented in the original post here. Extract from article: Cancer mum took life or death gamble with her unborn child...
* Angela Marsh, 27, was diagnosed while pregnant with baby Zachary
* Faced two impossible options - one was abortion then life-saving operation
* Or could delay surgery until baby was born and risk the cancer spreading
* Instead went for another pioneering, risky option - surgery while pregnant

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... z2qPt89YD6
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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