Is a fetus a seperate person? Court says: No...

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Post by The Last Autobot » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:16 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:A born baby is concious/aware of its surroundings.
There have been many tests to determin this, this was how doctors determined the cut-off point for abortion.


Like which tests?
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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:20 pm

well how do u think they came up with time to abort a child - picked at random?
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Post by The Last Autobot » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:23 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:well how do u think they came up with time to abort a child - picked at random?


Mmmmmm, Interesting, but the question remains:


Which tests?
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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:33 pm

Why the Abortion tests of course.

Its even been to court quite a few times in different countries, when Abortion was deemed not illegal in the UK Doctors carried out various tests to present to court. similar tests have been carried out by the pro/against abortion lobbies for a number of years in the UK, USA and various other countries discussing exactly what we are talking about here.

Unless you belive some bloke just went "yeah, abortion,whatever" - which im sure you realise the legal process in most 1st world countries wouldnt allow. im not sure why u asked.
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Post by The Last Autobot » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:44 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:Why the Abortion tests of course.

Its even been to court quite a few times in different countries, when Abortion was deemed not illegal in the UK Doctors carried out various tests to present to court. similar tests have been carried out by the pro/against abortion lobbies for a number of years in the UK, USA and various other countries discussing exactly what we are talking about here.

Unless you belive some bloke just went "yeah, abortion,whatever" - which im sure you realise the legal process in most 1st world countries wouldnt allow. im not sure why u asked.


No. Only that you defend tests that you dont know.

When a baby is born he starts acting out on reflex acts. Awareness and consciousness are processes that take time. When the baby starts to differentiate his surroundings from his "ego" then he is aware and conscious.

And a baby is a human being.

The whole point that started this was that consciousness was the signal of being a human and the starting point from "nothing" to "human". if that was the case then not only abortion but killing a few month old babies would be ok.

And thats not the case is it?

So consciousness is not a valid criteria
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Post by Metal Vendetta » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:56 pm

The cut-off point was brought back recently in the UK. It's apparently the doctors' best estimate of when a baby can survive outside the womb and it currently stands around 22 weeks, I think. It was brought back because of advances in medical technology that allow babies to survive earlier and earlier which meant that in one room of the hospital doctors were aborting foetuses at 24 weeks and in another they were struggling to keep 24 week-old premature babies alive. It makes sense, at least to me, to keep the two things separate. While I wouldn't encourage abortion, it does seem better if it has to be done, to be done as early as possible.

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Post by saysadie » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:36 am

In relevance to this particular case, the foetus wasn't a person that could count for justification in the lady's usage of the carpool lane.

Attempting to argue otherwise makes for an amusing way to kill time, though. Taking it to court on the otherhand is a waste and if the woman thinks that she was being clever about it she needs to grow a freaking brain.

On that, IMO brain growth/activity should play a major role in determinig whether or not a particular foetus could be considered "sentient".

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Post by Yaya » Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:27 pm

I would enter this fray, but hell, I don't know where I myself stands on this point.

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Post by Best First » Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:42 pm

one thing i am certain on, if you ban abortion you just put more lives at risk, because banning it won't stop it.
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Post by Impactor returns 2.0 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:42 pm

The Last Autobot wrote:
Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:Why the Abortion tests of course.

Its even been to court quite a few times in different countries, when Abortion was deemed not illegal in the UK Doctors carried out various tests to present to court. similar tests have been carried out by the pro/against abortion lobbies for a number of years in the UK, USA and various other countries discussing exactly what we are talking about here.

Unless you belive some bloke just went "yeah, abortion,whatever" - which im sure you realise the legal process in most 1st world countries wouldnt allow. im not sure why u asked.


No. Only that you defend tests that you dont know.

When a baby is born he starts acting out on reflex acts. Awareness and consciousness are processes that take time. When the baby starts to differentiate his surroundings from his "ego" then he is aware and conscious.

And a baby is a human being.

The whole point that started this was that consciousness was the signal of being a human and the starting point from "nothing" to "human". if that was the case then not only abortion but killing a few month old babies would be ok.

And thats not the case is it?

So consciousness is not a valid criteria


For starters I am awre of tests that were carried out. Its not my place to 'know' them inside out only the conclusions.

You then go onto to tell me when a babny reaches conciousness - what exactly do u base this upon? what tests are you following exactly? where is your evidence if you are so sure?
you cannot dismiss one argument for another that you cannot prove.

Consciousness is the most valid of critera its whats seperates us from everything else on earth - untill u can prove me to me when a baby becomes conciouss, be it in the womb or outside the womb. you cannot say what is not valid.

Untill somthing is consious and not just working on instinct its an animal - my only problem with killing it, is morality.
And in my book, babies are conciouss within the womb for around the same time the cut off point of abortion is. what I have seen suggests this to be true, your evidence is as good as mine so there no point in arguing that which u cannot truly defend.

What you should be asking yourself is what makes humans different from animals. and when does a human become human? the first question u might be able to answer, the 2nd question is more open to debate.
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Post by The Last Autobot » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:33 pm

Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:
The Last Autobot wrote:
Impactor returns 2.0 wrote:Why the Abortion tests of course.

Its even been to court quite a few times in different countries, when Abortion was deemed not illegal in the UK Doctors carried out various tests to present to court. similar tests have been carried out by the pro/against abortion lobbies for a number of years in the UK, USA and various other countries discussing exactly what we are talking about here.

Unless you belive some bloke just went "yeah, abortion,whatever" - which im sure you realise the legal process in most 1st world countries wouldnt allow. im not sure why u asked.


No. Only that you defend tests that you dont know.

When a baby is born he starts acting out on reflex acts. Awareness and consciousness are processes that take time. When the baby starts to differentiate his surroundings from his "ego" then he is aware and conscious.

And a baby is a human being.

The whole point that started this was that consciousness was the signal of being a human and the starting point from "nothing" to "human". if that was the case then not only abortion but killing a few month old babies would be ok.

And thats not the case is it?

So consciousness is not a valid criteria


For starters I am awre of tests that were carried out. Its not my place to 'know' them inside out only the conclusions.

You then go onto to tell me when a babny reaches conciousness - what exactly do u base this upon? what tests are you following exactly? where is your evidence if you are so sure?
you cannot dismiss one argument for another that you cannot prove.

Consciousness is the most valid of critera its whats seperates us from everything else on earth - untill u can prove me to me when a baby becomes conciouss, be it in the womb or outside the womb. you cannot say what is not valid.

Untill somthing is consious and not just working on instinct its an animal - my only problem with killing it, is morality.
And in my book, babies are conciouss within the womb for around the same time the cut off point of abortion is. what I have seen suggests this to be true, your evidence is as good as mine so there no point in arguing that which u cannot truly defend.

What you should be asking yourself is what makes humans different from animals. and when does a human become human? the first question u might be able to answer, the 2nd question is more open to debate.


Yes. Consciuosness is what more or less separates animals from men. But is not a process that is "activated" since birth. So is not a valid criteria for abortion cause it would also be for killing a few months old baby (I feel like a deja vu here). And also is not valid because certain animals can show a degree of consciousness as well (like chimpanzees)

And here is a test you can apply.

The Mirror test:

Conciousness and self awareness is achieved in human beings at the aproximate age of 18 months. In this test you paint a red dot in the baby nose and put a mirror in front of him. If he touches the mirror instead of his nose he hasnt achieved that stage (like animals who when seeing the mirror think they are facing another being). This test was developed by Gordon Gallup.
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Post by The Last Autobot » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:35 pm

Best First wrote:one thing i am certain on, if you ban abortion you just put more lives at risk, because banning it won't stop it.


Well, thats entirely true.
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Post by Yaya » Tue Jan 17, 2006 5:43 pm

If you speak of abortion as a loss of potential life, then killing a sperm or egg before conception would also be an abortional act. In fact, one could call murder of a grown adult abortion, because you are killing off a potential new human being who might have existed had intercourse with another occured.

Which brings us back to the question of when is a person a person? I think for those who are spiritual, the question is more when does a soul enter a body.

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Post by Hound » Tue Jan 17, 2006 7:19 pm

I can see why people get so upset about the whole situation.

A few years ago my Steop Mum had to abort a baby sister of mine, unborn of course, but about 5 months along. She was suffering from some spinal disease that would have meant she would be born with no arms or legs and would be brain damaged.

My Step Mum and Dad formed an attachment to the unborn baby, she had a name, Ellie. But no one in their right mind can tell me that it would have been right to allow Ellie to be born and live the mockery of a life she had been sentenced to, but it doesn't make her any less real, and it made it equally hard to deal with because I lost my only sister before I even got to know her.

Just my thoughts on the subject...
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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:10 pm

You bring up an interesting point, Hound. When a baby will definately be born with severe mental or physical defects, should it still be born? For that matter, if unborn children (which are incomplete) are not people, what about people who are born incomplete? Are they people?
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Post by The Last Autobot » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:43 pm

Professor Smooth wrote:You bring up an interesting point, Hound. When a baby will definately be born with severe mental or physical defects, should it still be born? For that matter, if unborn children (which are incomplete) are not people, what about people who are born incomplete? Are they people?


Well they are people. Handicapped people.

I somewhat agree that an unborn person with severe mental or physical defects shouldnt be born. But the problem with that would be with what criteria should these severe defects be adressed and classified. Who should live and who not?
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Post by Hound » Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:49 pm

The Last Autobot wrote:
Professor Smooth wrote:You bring up an interesting point, Hound. When a baby will definately be born with severe mental or physical defects, should it still be born? For that matter, if unborn children (which are incomplete) are not people, what about people who are born incomplete? Are they people?


Well they are people. Handicapped people.

I somewhat agree that an unborn person with severe mental or physical defects shouldnt be born. But the problem with that would be with what criteria should these severe defects be adressed and classified. Who should live and who not?


In my sisters case, it was better for her to be dead. Living and not being able to think or do anything for yourself is wrong, she would have been on life support for all of her life. It is cruel to let people live that way when you can prevent that kind of suffering.

My parents loved my sister enough, and were brave to let her go, and not let her surive for purely selfish reasons, or because some ****** old book of chinese whispers told them to.

I remember seeing all that fuss on American TV a couple of years ago when the hospitals wanted to turn off the life support of a brain dead woman, but the parents wouldn't allow it, and it went to the courts, then all of the religous zealots kicked up a fuss. It really, truly makes me sick and is the act of people with NO compassion.
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Post by sprunkner » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:09 pm

On the "potential for life" issue:

There's that question of killing Hitler as a child. The usual answer is: "If I could go back and time and kill him, I think I would use the time-traveling to remove him to a more healthy environment where he would be raised differently."

It sounds good, in theory. So in theory, why condemn a child who will be alive? I'm not talking about sperm and eggs, I'm talking about an actual pregnancy, a good chance of surviving till birth and being born normal enough to enjoy life. No matter what the circumstances the child will be born into, if it looks crappy enough to abort, couldn't a way be devised to improve its potential life?

My sister, as an adoption, was a likely candidate for abortion. I think she prefers it this way. She's written a play that won gobs of student awards and is having it performed at her university. She is a loving, funny and generous person.

In theory, a child could be anything if we give it the chance.

In other theory, Hitler may have become Hitler anyway.
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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:16 pm

The Last Autobot wrote:
Professor Smooth wrote:You bring up an interesting point, Hound. When a baby will definately be born with severe mental or physical defects, should it still be born? For that matter, if unborn children (which are incomplete) are not people, what about people who are born incomplete? Are they people?


Well they are people. Handicapped people.

I somewhat agree that an unborn person with severe mental or physical defects shouldnt be born. But the problem with that would be with what criteria should these severe defects be adressed and classified. Who should live and who not?


If it's alright to abort them in the womb, why is it not alright to euthanize them after they're born?

My point is that either a fetus is a complete person with all the rights and privilages granted to a seperate person under the laws of his or her given nation OR it is not a person and only part of a larger living organism.

It really does have to be one or the other. Either it IS a person or it ISN'T. This isn't like "good" and "evil" where there are shades of gray.

If a fetus is a person and killing it is murder, then the same goes for every fetus including those born of rape, incest, or with severe mental/physical defects. Yes?
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Post by Bouncelot » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:20 pm

Hound wrote:
The Last Autobot wrote:
Professor Smooth wrote:You bring up an interesting point, Hound. When a baby will definately be born with severe mental or physical defects, should it still be born? For that matter, if unborn children (which are incomplete) are not people, what about people who are born incomplete? Are they people?


Well they are people. Handicapped people.

I somewhat agree that an unborn person with severe mental or physical defects shouldnt be born. But the problem with that would be with what criteria should these severe defects be adressed and classified. Who should live and who not?


In my sisters case, it was better for her to be dead. Living and not being able to think or do anything for yourself is wrong, she would have been on life support for all of her life. It is cruel to let people live that way when you can prevent that kind of suffering.

My parents loved my sister enough, and were brave to let her go, and not let her surive for purely selfish reasons, or because some ****** old book of chinese whispers told them to.

I remember seeing all that fuss on American TV a couple of years ago when the hospitals wanted to turn off the life support of a brain dead woman, but the parents wouldn't allow it, and it went to the courts, then all of the religous zealots kicked up a fuss. It really, truly makes me sick and is the act of people with NO compassion.


That really is too harsh on the parents to say that they had NO compassion. In cases like this, the parents invariably love their child very deeply, and hate the idea of somebody killing their baby. Their perspective was probably that any chance at life is better than no life at all. The vast majority of even severely handicapped children can have a good quality of life given the right chance. Severely handicapped children in rich countries probably have a better quality of life than the vast numbers of perfectly healthy children born into absolute poverty.

Cases like this are always hard decisions, and I'd be loath to claim that there was even one parent in such situations who wasn't trying to make the best possible decision for their child. Condemning them for choosing one way in what is a difficult decision doesn't really help. Mind you, you may be right about some of those who came out in support of the parents in the case you cited.

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Post by Yaya » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:24 pm

sprunkner wrote:In theory, a child could be anything if we give it the chance.


I tend to believe this myself. Who are we to decide who would be happy if born and who wouldn't? I mean, handicapped or congenitally disfigured people are still people, are still capable of experiencing pleasure as much as pain. They can be happy. In fact, some of them are quite mature in their thinking and I would wager many of them are happier than some of us.

If someone decides to abort a fetus based on a judegment they are passing that this fetus will never know happiness, I think this is flawed.

Life and death should not be based on predictions of happiness or sadness. Otherwise, all people who are depressed should be hit by trucks.

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Post by Professor Smooth » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:39 pm

Yaya wrote:
sprunkner wrote:In theory, a child could be anything if we give it the chance.


I tend to believe this myself. Who are we to decide who would be happy if born and who wouldn't? I mean, handicapped or congenitally disfigured people are still people, are still capable of experiencing pleasure as much as pain. They can be happy. In fact, some of them are quite mature in their thinking and I would wager many of them are happier than some of us.

If someone decides to abort a fetus based on a judegment they are passing that this fetus will never know happiness, I think this is flawed.

Life and death should not be based on predictions of happiness or sadness. Otherwise, all people who are depressed should be hit by trucks.


And what a crushing blow that would be to the emo community... )
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Post by sprunkner » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:00 am

OK, forget everything I said. Abort emo fetuses. Abort NOW.
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Post by Guest » Wed Jan 18, 2006 1:11 am

Bouncelot wrote:
Hound wrote:I remember seeing all that fuss on American TV a couple of years ago when the hospitals wanted to turn off the life support of a brain dead woman, but the parents wouldn't allow it, and it went to the courts, then all of the religous zealots kicked up a fuss. It really, truly makes me sick and is the act of people with NO compassion.


That really is too harsh on the parents to say that they had NO compassion. In cases like this, the parents invariably love their child very deeply, and hate the idea of somebody killing their baby. Their perspective was probably that any chance at life is better than no life at all. The vast majority of even severely handicapped children can have a good quality of life given the right chance. Severely handicapped children in rich countries probably have a better quality of life than the vast numbers of perfectly healthy children born into absolute poverty.

Cases like this are always hard decisions, and I'd be loath to claim that there was even one parent in such situations who wasn't trying to make the best possible decision for their child. Condemning them for choosing one way in what is a difficult decision doesn't really help. Mind you, you may be right about some of those who came out in support of the parents in the case you cited.


Hound was referring to the religous zealots kicking up a fuss, rather than the parents. The parents were making their decision because they were next of kin and were emotionally involved. The hospital staff were making their decision based on their patient's prognosis, and probably to a much lesser extent, the utility of hospital resources. The religious zealots weren't making a decision, they were just jumping on the euthanasia bandwagon in the hope of stirring up some civil outcry.

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Post by Metal Vendetta » Fri Jan 20, 2006 8:59 pm

There was a case in the UK a few years ago when a woman aborted her baby *very* late because scans showed it would be born with a hair(sp?) lip. I believe that was one of the cases that pushed the abortion cut-off point back, because people were quite rightly outraged. I know a couple of people who have this particular "deformity", one of them is the father of a very good friend of mine. In that case it was pure vanity that caused it, and I don´t think anyone would support it in this case.

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Post by Bouncelot » Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:04 pm

Metal Vendetta wrote:There was a case in the UK a few years ago when a woman aborted her baby *very* late because scans showed it would be born with a hair(sp?) lip. I believe that was one of the cases that pushed the abortion cut-off point back, because people were quite rightly outraged. I know a couple of people who have this particular "deformity", one of them is the father of a very good friend of mine. In that case it was pure vanity that caused it, and I don´t think anyone would support it in this case.


Wasn't that one a cleft pallette? There are certainly cases where abortions appear to be carried out for fairly frivolous reasons.

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Post by Professor Smooth » Sat Jan 21, 2006 12:02 am

Bouncelot wrote:
Metal Vendetta wrote:There was a case in the UK a few years ago when a woman aborted her baby *very* late because scans showed it would be born with a hair(sp?) lip. I believe that was one of the cases that pushed the abortion cut-off point back, because people were quite rightly outraged. I know a couple of people who have this particular "deformity", one of them is the father of a very good friend of mine. In that case it was pure vanity that caused it, and I don´t think anyone would support it in this case.


Wasn't that one a cleft pallette? There are certainly cases where abortions appear to be carried out for fairly frivolous reasons.


Is not wanting a child to have to grow up with an obvious deformity any more of a frivolous reason than simply not wanting to have a child?
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