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Featured An ethical question for the "embryos are people" crowd

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, May 7, 2022.

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  1. I consider an embryo a person. The doctor behaved ethically.

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  2. I consider an embryo a person. The doctor behaved unethically.

    1 vote(s)
    5.3%
  3. I don't consider an embryo a person. I just like to click on polls.

    14 vote(s)
    73.7%
  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Here's an ethical scenario - from my own life - for those of you who consider embryos to be people:

    When my ex-wife and I were together, we tried to have kids to no avail. She kept miscarrying before we could get to the third month of gestation.

    We went to see a fertility doctor. The doctor told us right off the bat that because she was working out of a Catholic hospital, she wouldn't be able to prescribe IVF.

    ... but we described what was going on and here's the approach that she ended up recommending:

    Just keep trying. Keep trying with lots of monitoring to figure out what's going on: one cycle we might be able to get to 6 weeks, the next 8, and then further and further until - hopefully - we would get to a full term live birth. Every cycle, we'd just tweak medications and whatnot to get a little bit further along.

    Now...I personally had no problem with this approach (which ended up not working - we didn't end up having kids), but it did occur to me that it was absolutely wild that the Catholic hospital where we were going would be okay with this.

    I mean, imagine you had a house where kids kept dying mysteriously. It would be monstrous for someone to suggest "hey - let's just keep sending kids in, but strap wireless cameras to them so we can try to figure out what's killing them."

    It seems to me that anyone who really did think that an embryo is a person - and who wasn't a complete hypocrite or psychopath - should have said something like "your pattern of miscarriages means there's too much risk for the next embryo. Stop trying to get pregnant."

    So... thoughts?

    I've posted a poll. Along with voting, please post your reasons why you voted the way you did in the thread below.
     
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  2. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    My choice wasn’t reflected in the poll.
    In my understanding, my religion (depending on who you ask) considers an embryo to have a soul or “atman.”
    So I can somewhat sympathise with the notion of the embryo being “life.”
    That doesn’t mean I personally ascribe to the notion of abortion being immoral. I consider it morally ambiguous, at best.

    I don’t consider the embryo a person, in the same sense that I consider the mother a person.
    That is to say, obviously the embryo is human, I just consider it a “potential” human, not yet covered by the full rights we endow to people overall.

    As far as ethics are concerned, I don’t see anything wrong with the doctor’s approach personally.
    But from a moral standpoint, assuming that the overall Catholic position is that all embryos have souls and life begins at conception, you could make the case that said doctor was encouraging immoral behaviour. Treating embryos as nothing more than attempts rather than lives. Encouraging a wasteful view of life and wilfully flushing away souls (for lack of a better phrase.)
     
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  3. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Yup, i just like to click polls.

    But it must have been horrendous for your ex. Miscarriage is a horribly emotional thing. She was brave (or determined) to keep on trying.

    And for you too
     
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  4. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Be who ever you want

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    To me, embryo are a pe4son already.
    So maybe if someone can not carry it until birth, it is not meant to be
     
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  5. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    AFAIK, she didn't subscribe to this view herself; she just had to follow the rules of the Catholic hospital where she worked.
     
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  6. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Thanks. It was a difficult situation for a lot of reasons. I'm glad I didn't have the extra burden of thinking that we were "killing babies" in pursuit of having a child.
     
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  7. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    I mean, fair enough. We all have to obey the rules at work.
    Allow me to rephrase. You could make the case that the hospital the doctor was working for was giving orders to doctors to encourage immoral behaviour (arguably.)


    (My apologies for the clumsy phrasing.)
     
  8. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    If the fetuses didn't survive it was God's will and Christians generally don't care if the one doing the killing is God.
     
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  9. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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  10. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    I would argue that they don’t care for the baby after birth at all.
    (General statement I know there are a few who actually support measures to reduce abortion overall.)
    Pro lifers don’t seem to get behind sex education or pre/post natal care reforms.
    Considering the US has the highest infant mortality rate among first world nations and even lags behind some second and third world nations.

    Even in my own country they don’t seem to care. Though I suppose to cut them some slack, my country has universal healthcare. So maybe they’ve just grown complacent in that regard
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    The Catholic Church makes an ethical distinction that I generally don't, with the principle of double effect. In their formulation, because we never intended to miscarry, this somehow makes it okay to try to get pregnant when we fully expected to miscarry.

    To me, we're responsible for the foreseeable outcomes of our actions whether we "intend" them or not.
     
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  12. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    So sending a "child" to their near-certain death isn't "killing"?
     
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  13. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    This really annoys me. We can debate about abortion, but there is definitely no debate to be had on whether sex education and pre/post natal care should be properly provided. I also don't get how paid maternity leave is not a thing everywhere in the USA.
     
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  14. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    It is. I was saying that Christians generally don't care if God kills someone.
     
  15. Suave

    Suave Simulated character
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    A person has experienced consciousness, no embryo has experienced consciousness. Therefore, embryos are not people. Right?
     
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  16. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Thank you!!

    I have absolutely no issue with someone if they think abortion is wrong. Everyone has the right to their own opinion.
    And it’s a discussion/debate I’m more than willing to have. Even if invariably ends with “agree to disagree.” And to be absolutely fair, I have encountered folks who did legitimate back such efforts to reduce abortions overall. Those are people I would be more than happy to label “Pro Life.”

    Because to me, at least from a non American perspective, the Pro Life movement is simply a reactionary movement. They only care about one thing. Abortion.
    That’s it. There’s no broader scope or other things to take into consideration. All they care about is stopping abortions. That’s shallow, I’m sorry but to me it just is.

    Reality doesn’t just stop at abortion or even “pro choice.” Yes I support the pro choice movement, but only because they seek to address issues that are beyond simply giving access to abortions. The movement, at least where I live, actively supports other things that I agree with. Easily accessible contraception, pre and post natal health care (though we have that through our Medicare system anyway) scientifically sound sex education, fertility treatments etc.
    We already have parental leave and oddly that’s something that is often argued for by our Greens party (sort of a environmentally aware political party.) So it’s not at the forefront of my mind as a voter.

    But yes I think that it is criminal that such a wealthy and supposedly “free” country such as the United States does not have mandatory maternal paid leave. Even as they claim to be a moral nation.
    That’s just immoral to my eyes. And unethical, especially if you claim to want to prevent abortions
     
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  17. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    To me at least (full disclaimer I’m not Catholic) I think that’s just a weasel move to try to avoid responsibility. And this from an institution that has the gall to claim moral superiority
     
  18. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Sounds like you aren't in the "embryos are people" crowd who this thread was addressed to.
     
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  19. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise
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    Just curious, do you think I am, based on my first post?

    Because I tend to get lumped in with either crowd, depending on the circumstance lol
     
  20. Sheldon

    Sheldon Veteran Member

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    Well, my sympathies as this sounds like an horrendously traumatic experience for the both of you. FWIW I think doctors as well as behaving ethically, should also be able to empathise with patients, and in this instance that doesn't seem to be the case.
     
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