Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mother... Mother ...

If you've heard Norman Bates calling "Mother..Mother" in the movie Psycho, then that quaint voice had more to it. An interesting case that our Indian media is going berserk these days is about a couple who approached the court to seek permission to abort their baby on medical grounds. I'm no doctor or expert but writing this purely on my own merit and judgment.

I frankly cannot empathize how it feels to be a mother but can surely understand the agony of parents whose kids are born challenged. We do not have any right to take away one's or others life. "Abortion" may be a taboo from some religious angles and we are not here to discuss that. But does a mother have right to kill a fetus ? The court interestingly asked many questions and the one important one is "when do we say that there is 'life' ?". Technically the courts may be right but all the judgments cannot be given on their technical merit. In fact lots of gynecologists have been facing this problem for their ethical intent on such matters.

Another simple question is, how would you treat if it were an HIV couple, and it was diagnosed that the to-be-born kid would also be infected, would you want to give birth to such a child and the kid go through all the social stigma and the physical challenge ? I guess even this case is very similar. Again I'm not a qualified medical practitioner or do not have any expertise.

In my opinion, I strongly feel the decision must be left to the parents. In today's world raising a challenged kid is also a very big traumatic and financial burden. Experiencing "motherhood" may be a case, but at the end it is the "mother" who has to decide (make no mistake, when I mean "mother" I also presume it is consented with her husband, after all we cannot rule out what he wishes). No thoughtful parent would abandon their kids !

The media is anyway looking to make a story here and will wait until the kid is born and if it turns out that the kid is normal and healthy, then they will have another story to run for several weeks and that may just be a wrong precedent !

This now takes me to another very important topic, "Euthanasia" also popularly known as "Mercy Killing" on medical grounds. Everyone of has right to live !


Balu said...

The Hindu gives some news insights here:


Pulkit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pulkit said...

I have been deliberating on this issue since I read it in the newspaper. As you mentioned, the question as to "when" the fetus is injected with life is the all-important one. If I am not mistaken, after twenty weeks (close to four months), a mother is legally barred from terminating her pregnancy unless it can be proven medically that delivering a baby can put her own health at risk. I would like to think that this time-line of twenty weeks was set in accordance to the earlier question of when the life commences in a fetus. If that is so, I find it quite logical.

To the debate on whether a disabled fetus should be killed or not, I see that as no different from killing an infant born with health issues, because in both scenarios, you are taking away a human life. I am inclined to say no to that, although the never-ending pain it may inflict on the child does make you question your call.

Mercy killing differs from this in a substantial way. It is usually about ending the life of an ailing adult whose consent (or that of his well-defined caretakers) has been obtained for the same. It's like a suicide except for the fact the subject is incapable of committing it, and hence seeking your help.

Nice post, by the bye.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with pulkit, Life is life whether it be a disabled one or a healthy one. I don't think anyone has a right to judge that a healthy life is more valid than a disabled or impaired life.
I also believe that just as everyone has the right to live, they also should have the right to die. Any consenting adult should be allowed to choose to die when their condition takes a turn for the worse.