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Question on personhood for the unborn (Page 1)

Recently, in San Francisco, an unborn child was partially removed from the womb in order to have a renal tract obstruction repaired. After the surgery, the child was replaced in the womb to continue the pregnancy. Was this a person while out of the womb and then a non-person again when back inside? Or, since the procedure involves the removal of the lower half of the body from the womb, did the child achieve personhood for its buttocks but not for its brain?
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Confused

I'm not a scientist, but my opinion would be that, since the baby was still attached to the mother via the umbilical cord (and receiving blood and oxygen through it), he was not technically "removed", although part of his body was outside of hers. She was still his only source of oxygen and nutrients, and he was not breathing on his own.
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replied June 27th, 2008
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I'm sorry -- are you speaking in the legal sense? In which case, my guess is that no, that fetus did not achieve any temporary rights as a person.
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replied June 27th, 2008
I was talking in, I guess, the philosophical sense. Wink
But when does the fetus become a person then?
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Again, I'm not a scientist. My opinion would be that the fetus would become a person when it was independent of its mother's body, taking breaths on its own or by way of another method other than its mother. This would be when the baby is delivered and the cord is severed, I suppose.
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replied June 27th, 2008
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?
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replied June 27th, 2008
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No it was still a fetus IMO, having surgery in the womb doesn't change what it is.

Rosierose wrote:
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?

if this is about to go down the line of "a newborn is completely dependant on others" can we remember that anyone can look after a newborn, only the pregnant woman can support the fetus thanks
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replied June 27th, 2008
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I wouldn't say "dependent", necessarily... but when the mother is the baby's sole life support as far as oxygenation, nutrients and blood flow are concerned, that's correct.
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replied June 27th, 2008
Well, what if, say, a mom and a baby were stranded in their house in the middle of a snowstorm, and the baby relied on the mother completely for food. If the mother dies, the baby does too, eventually. Can the mother decide whether or not she chooses to feed her baby? Thanks! Smile
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replied June 27th, 2008
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The difference is, anybody can "feed" the baby. You're talking about two totally different things. When a mother is pregnant, she is the SOLE provider of oxygen, blood, and nutrition to her baby. After the child is born, anybody (theoretically) can care for it.

Your question about the snow storm and whether a mother can choose not to feed her baby doesn't have much (if anything) to do with you asking if the baby's buttocks achieved personhood.

If you're trying to prove a point, maybe you should just come out and say it. Hmm?
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
Well, what if, say, a mom and a baby were stranded in their house in the middle of a snowstorm, and the baby relied on the mother completely for food. If the mother dies, the baby does too, eventually. Can the mother decide whether or not she chooses to feed her baby? Thanks! Smile


This is an interesting point. Because yes she CAN decide whether or not to feed it. Just as would be the case if the father was trapped in the house with the baby, or the nanny, or a random stranger. In those situations, the infant is a person dependant upon whoever happens to be there. However, while a woman is pregnant, she cannot withhold sustenance without removing the fetus. Even if she stops eating herself, her body will be removing nutrients from her bones and tissue to pass on to the fetus. So your question is completely irrelevant.
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replied June 27th, 2008
Besides achieving dependence, what else makes the fetus a person?
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?


In philosophy the majority tend to sway that it becomes a person when it is capable of relying on its own source of nutrient and oxygen, for others it when a z/e/f becomes viable.
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
Besides achieving dependence, what else makes the fetus a person?


Nothing, it is not a person till birth.

Rosierose wrote:

Well, what if, say, a mom and a baby were stranded in their house in the middle of a snowstorm, and the baby relied on the mother completely for food. If the mother dies, the baby does too, eventually. Can the mother decide whether or not she chooses to feed her baby? Thanks! Smile


I am going to use your quote with my own twist.


Well what if, I say a mom and baby were stranded in their house and in the middle of a snowstorm, the baby had 2 bottle in a bag beside him, he goes three days without a bottle, takes one and waits another 4-6 days before the other one. In the end the father walked home and fed his child although th kids was crying his heart out.

Or maybe someone found the kids

The mother didn't need to feed the baby, the bottles were already there, so if the baby didnt rely on breast milk but could rely on anything, then please explain how it is dependant on the mother.

***********************************

The baby will try and survive, it has been proven that once born, a infant will try and crawl up, succeeding almost all the time in being able to get to the mothers breast.
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?


Everyone depends on someone or something in a sense, the difference between a fetus and a person is the fact one is aware and one is not (depending on gestational age.)

If for example a 14 week z/e/f was taken out of the womb, it would die instantly or within minutes...

If you take a infant and leave it without food for a few days it would not die, although the kid would be pretty hungry..

Different level of dependence, different levels of age and there is no conscious on a 14 weeks old as there is an infant.

Can you tell me you are not Dependant on someone or something?

Cause I can guarantee your not 100% independent, it is almost impossible.

From a philosophy sense, personhood is demonstrated through ones ability to think, ones ability to be aware...

Philosophy means friendship/love of wisdom or knowledge, therefore in order to love you first need a conscious.
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replied June 27th, 2008
[quote=please explain how it is dependant on the mother.[/quote]

In my example I was trying to say that if, in some rare circumstance, if the baby has no chance of surviving without the mother's help, I was asking if it would be alright if she chose to kill it.

But thanks. I wanted to see what the pro-choice view was of the example and everything. Thanks for answering my questions. Cool
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replied June 27th, 2008
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Why is it only the mother's help? You can substitute the mother for a father, a sister, a brother, a next door neighbor, a babysitter, etc. Anybody can take care of a newborn/toddler/child/adolescent/dependent adult. Only a pregnant woman can take care of a z/e/f.

It is not okay for a mother to decide to kill her born child, neglect it to death, or what have you. You will not find a pro-choice person on this site who would ever say that was okay. But to equate that to abortion (which is where I think you're going with this) is, to put it politely, a stretch. A woman taking care of an infant during a snowstorm is not comparable to pregnancy.
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replied June 28th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?


A baby is a person when he is no longer part of another person's body.
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replied June 28th, 2008
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Rosierose wrote:
So the baby is only a person when he isn't completely dependent on one person?


Yes. The operative word being ONE person.

After leaving the uterus (whether via vaginal birth or C-section), two relatively important things happen. The umbilical cord is severed, and respiration begins. Until those events occur, it's not a person.

And even if it was (legally) a person, an unwanted fetus could still be removed. After all, it's guilty of assault, theft, and trespass. If an uninvited guest can be tossed out of your house, then an uninvited fetus can be tossed out of your uterus.
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replied June 28th, 2008
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Embryo- fetus- baby-person all are the same..it refers to the same human being in diferent development stages. But you can say that in legal terms person is when it's born.
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