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The Right to Life in France

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Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 01-05-2002 08:30 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I was going to write something similar to this article but this covers a lot of ground.

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/ArticleView.asp?Accessible=yes&P_Article=8185


From the article:

"Late last autumn, France's highest court handed down a ruling of great moral and even metaphysical interest. The court declared that a 17-year-old boy was entitled to compensation for being born. Because he contracted German measles from his mother while she was pregnant with him-both a doctor and a laboratory failed to diagnose her illness-the boy is deaf, mentally retarded and nearly blind.

From the parents' point of view, the court's decision makes eminent sense. Had they known about the measles and the associated risks to the foetus, they could have aborted, waited a few months and then started another pregnancy which would probably have resulted in a healthy baby. From the 17-year-old boy's perspective, however, the logic of the decision is a little peculiar. The correct diagnosis would have led to an outcome in which he did not exist. Would this really have been better for him?"


[This message has been edited by Brad (01-05-2002 08:32 PM).]

Shou-Lao
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since 10-12-2001
Posts 101


1 posted 01-05-2002 10:13 PM       View Profile for Shou-Lao   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Shou-Lao


Are we to assume that the reason for the compensation stated in the article is accurate? It may seem a small point but the implications are somewhat different if the reason for compensation was because the boy was born physically and mentally handicapped instead of simply "for being born".

The former, if correct, brings euthanasia into the equation, it isn't a large leap between a court agreeing that someone shouldn't have been born to them agreeing that they shouldn't exist.
If the later the courts judgement is that the child/parents should be compensated for the negligence of medical staff but does not imply or include any judgement on whether the child should have been born. Rather that the parents should have been given the option to make that judgement.

The former also begs the question of whether compensation could be claimed for the loss of the child the parents could have had if the first pregnancy was terminated, despite the fact that  the second child may never have existed.

If we are to assume that this is a simple case of compensation for hardship due to negligence; for failing to give the parents the option of termination, the judgement seems, to me at least, to be reasonable.
hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


2 posted 01-06-2002 12:25 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I think this is interesting:

'But most of us feel that it would be wrong knowingly to conceive a child whose life would be truly miserable. Boys afflicted with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, for example, not only suffer mental retardation and excruciating pain; they also compulsively mutilate themselves. Surely, one has a duty not to bring such children into the world deliberately.'

I think there's a pretty big inconsistency between 'knowingly conceive' and 'bring into the world.' The article doesn't sepcify whether the disease is genetic- is there a test that tells who carries the gene? Can it feasibly be prevented by not conceiving a child?

Let's say that there isn't a test, or the couple didn't opt for one, but prenatal examinations indicate something wrong. This now becomes a question of 'bringing such children into the world deliberately.' So, do the parents have not only the option, but the duty, to abort?

I don't think so.

"I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow
I'm thinking about being on my own
I think I been wasting my time
I'm thinking about getting out"

Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 01-06-2002 06:20 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

SL,

I think it's reasonable as well but it presupposes the obtion to abort the fetus. What if no option were available? I don't know much about criminal negligence or malpractice law, but I don't think compensation is allowed if there is no change in outcome. That is, if my car has a defect, I can't sue if nothing happens. Right?

Hush,

Again, I think it's having the option that's important here. Duty presupposes infallible knowledge when all we've got is fallible stuff. The doctors, as this article points out, can be wrong sometimes. I think, however, the option for parents is important.
Right?

Thanks.
Shou-Lao
Member
since 10-12-2001
Posts 101


4 posted 01-06-2002 07:36 PM       View Profile for Shou-Lao   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Shou-Lao


Brad,

I'm no expert in any field, especially law but....

In the case of your car, common sense would say, no, you wouldn't have a claim if nothing happened but if we make your car example a little closer to the case in question the answer could be different.

Let's say you took your car for a service at a garage and the mechanic failed to report the fault, if negligence on the part of the mechanic can be proved a breach of contract case would seem reasonable. If loss or damage is caused due to such negligence compensation for any such would also seem reasonable.

If you apply this logic to the case of the child that never existed you could argue that a loss has been incurred due directly to the original negligence. However if no option of termination was available the second child would have had no chance to exist regardless of the original negligence, in the article though it seems that the main point was that termination WAS an option, hence the "for being born" statement.

With regard to the parents option on termination, I believe it's not only important I believe it's imperative that the choice remains with the parents, that's why it's important to understand exactly WHY the compensation claim was upheld.

Let's presume for a moment that the court had made the decision that the child should not have been born, how long will it be before Science and the courts extrapolate this retrospective decision and claim rights to the options of birth/termination?

Great subject BTW
 
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