Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bioethics Quiz

You are an expectant father in a frantic delivery room. Your baby is in breach position, and his little legs and part of his torso just past his belly button are out, but he's stuck and your wife is hemorraghing at an alarming rate. The OB informs you that, having been deprived of oxygen for so long, your baby will be severely brain-damaged, and will not survive more than a couple weeks on life support after birth, and will be essentially unresponsive and kept alive by machines for that short while anyway. Moreover, because the baby's head is compressing your wife's spinal cord, she will be rendered a parapalegic at the very least, and may also sustain severe brain damage from the hemorraghing, if they do not remove the baby immediately. If they do remove the baby immediately, she will likely be spared paralysis and certainly will suffer no brain damage. However, the only way to remove the baby is by a partial birth abortion. You have power of attorney and all applicable medical consent forms have been signed by your wife allowing you complete control over any health decisions she is unable to make.

Quiz question: who decides what to do? (hint: it's not really a bioethics quiz)
Answer (from the United States Supreme Court): A nearly all-male majority of Congress. And by the way, fuck you if you think stem-cell research might restore your paraplegic wife to full health.

1 comment:

Hill said...

Excellent post!