And I know most will disagree with me.
The 36-year-old woman from Milan suffered a massive brain haemorrhage in October, during her 23rd week of pregnancy.
After being taken to hospital, she was pronounced clinically dead and there were fears for her unborn child.
But doctors at San Raffaele hospital in Milan managed to keep her on life support, feeding the developing foetus through a tube inserted in the mother’s stomach.
Against all the odds, the baby boy was born on Thursday by Caesarean operation, in the woman’s 32nd week of pregnancy.
Immediately after the birth, the woman’s relatives gave doctors permission to remove her organs and for them to be donated for transplants.
“While we are very happy that the baby has been born we cannot forgot the pain that the family is feeling over the loss of this young woman,” doctors said in a statement.
A similar case in Ireland, also involving a pregnant woman who is on life support, has caused intense controversy.
Relatives of the woman want her life support systems turned off but doctors are refusing to do that because they say they are bound by a law which obliges them to defend the right to life of her 16-week-old foetus and keep it alive until it can be delivered.
The case is now to be decided in court, with the High Court in Dublin expected to make a ruling next week.
It’s an interesting twist on that being tied to the famous violinist thought experiment, isn’t it? There the argument is that the woman cannot be hooked up to said violinist in order to save the violinist’s life. Because that would be to compromise the woman’s rights. And thus said same woman cannot be forced to carry to term a baby, on the grounds that forcing her to support another with her organs is a breach of her rights.
But here that same logic runs the other way. There is no person, no mother, there any more. Brain dead. All that is left is a possible life support system for the baby. And in that Italian case they were very clear about it: as soon as the baby’s safe whisk those organs off to save other lives. There’s nothing but a life support system there and the only question is who gets first dibs on it.
Wonder if they’ll accept the same logic in the Irish case? There’s no extant rights to the corpse so who does get first dibs on that life support system?
The Guardian does seem to have it differently:
In Ireland, a woman who is clinically dead but 17 weeks pregnant is being kept alive against her family’s will. At this painful time, her relatives must go to court to stop the Irish state treating their loved one’s body as a cadaveric incubator.
Well, why not? She’s dead isn’t she?
Be angry that a dead woman’s body is being used as an incubator.
Why? Why not use it to save (create, to taste) a life before throwing it away? That is, after all, entirely the logic of cadaveric organ transplantation, that bits we no longer need because we’re dead enable others to carry on living.
And think through that cadaveric transplantation again. There’s very definitely a movement out there insisting that it should all be opt out. That without our expressed insistence that it not happen that our organs should be made available to save or improve the lives of others after our death. And the difference here is?
Remember, there is no woman left here who has rights. There’s only the fetus subject to a kill it/don’t kill it decision. Why are people arguing for the kill it one?