The Gallup Pole’s new numbers have shown that at least half of all Americans, which includes, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, are pro-life. This does not mean that 50% of all Americans think that abortion should be illegal, but that enough of them think that abortion is immoral enough to call themselves as pro-life. This suggests that the pro-life movement has gone from fringe to mainstream. It may not be too long before enough Americans view abortion as immoral so that it becomes a restricted practice, and is permissible only under particular circumstances.
See Wesley J Smith’s article about it here.
Because people have asked me to comment on the Dick Cheney heart transplant, I thought I would make one entry about it. Readers of this blog will recognize that I have very conservative leanings when it comes to subjects such as politics and health care. Also, the organ transplant waiting lists are local and federal. The decision to put someone on the organ recipient list is a decision that is between the patient and their physicians. I do not think the government has any right to intercede in the decision because it is a private decision. The shortage of organs can be addressed in other ways, but it seems to me that rationing by the government is simply wrong and contrary to the founding principles of our constitutional republic.
Having said all that, Cheney waited 20 months to receive his heart, and he was given no special treatment. You can argue that a younger person should have received this heart, but why? Cheney waited his turn. His age was, in his doctor’s opinion, not an important factor. Therefore, we should go with his doctor and not some bureaucrat.
Nevertheless, the best story on this comes from the inimitable Wesley Smith. Read his view here. It says it all.
According to the publication New Scientist, estimates by the Israeli medical profession postulate that there have been at least 600 ‘wrongful life’ lawsuits since the first case in 1987. A ‘wrongful life’ lawsuit occurs when the parents of a child with some kind of developmental abnormality or genetic disease sue the doctors who helped birth the child in the name of the child. The lawsuits allege that had the parents known about fetus’ severe genetic problem, they would have chosen to terminate their pregnancy.
“Wrongful life” claims are generally brought by the children, or much more typically, parents acting on behalf of the children. Essentially, the lawsuit specifies that the children are suing for the right to have never been born. They are suing doctors for NOT putting them to death. According to an article in BioNews, the psychological implications of such lawsuits on the children named in them have been noted by several medical ethicists. Professor Rabbi Avraham Steinberg of University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, commented: “I find it very difficult to understand how parents can go on the witness stand and tell their children ‘it would have better for you not to have been born. What are the psychological effects on the children?”
Now in the state of Oregon, a “wrongful life” lawsuit in Portland was put forward involving a Down syndrome child. According to the newspaper, the Oregonian, in June 2007, Ariel and Deborah Levy were excited by the birth of their daughter, when then experienced profound shock and anger when hospital staff told them their daughter had Down syndrome. When asked if she had had a prenatal test in the form of a chorionic sampling test, Mrs. Levy answered in the affirmative. Unfortunately, the results showed that they were going to have a normal, healthy child. Several days after being born, a blood test confirmed that the Levy’s little girl, Kalanit Levy, had Down syndrome. Therefore, the Levys filed suit against legacy Health, claiming that they would have aborted the pregnancy if they had known that their daughter had Down syndrome. The Levys say that they “dearly love their daughter, who is now 4 years old, but they want Legacy to pay for the extra life-time costs of caring for her, which are estimated to be about $3 million.
With all respect to the Levys, but this, “We dearly love her but would have killed her before she was born” schtick does not wash. What if she learns that her parents brought this case. Doctors cannot guarantee outcomes. We do not have a right to a particular child and no one should have to be legally declared wrongfully born. If the jury has any sense in this matter, they will throw this case out. It is a clear-cut case of chasing deep pockets with a detestable premise.