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if the 'pro-life' rhetoric was applied to organ donation


JaChelle Sugar

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A good way to shut a pro-life fundy up on facebook is to ask why these things don't apply to forced organ donation. they go quiet after that.

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Can I play devil's advocate here? I don't know if this would fully work as an argument in their favor but here it goes.

The person that needs the organ donation will die if they don't get it, meaning your lack of action resulted in their death, as is natural. In the case of the abortion you are actively doing something, when otherwise the "person" in question would most likely survive if you did not take that action, as is natural. So if you don't mess with the "natural" way of doing things then you end up being moral. Action v. inaction. In one you were actively trying to "kill" someone when the other scenario you weren't.

Hope that made sense what I was trying to do there. Welcome to the strangeness that is my brain.

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Yes, but that argument only extends so far. Are they going to ban emergency services? Smack DNR orders on every member of the population? Close down hospitals?

Going by the cries of "Death Panel! Death Panel!" from the anti-universal healthcare crowd (which seems to overlap quite a bit with the pro-life lobby), I'm guessing they quite like the idea of healthcare and don't like the sound of economically rationalising it. Which makes me think that the argument about letting nature take it's course isn't one they actually espouse. Or if they do, it's they're so inconsistent about it that they shouldn't.

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Actually, reading some of the comments on an article about Jahi McMath from the National Catholic Register, I wonder if pro-lifers aren't going to try to go after organ donation. There were many commenters making derogatory comments about organ donation, saying that doctors wanted to declare people dead prematurely just to harvest their organs. I know Orthodox Jews are against organ donation (I don't know about receiving organs). We're already seeing a backlash against contraception among conservative Christians of all stripes, could organ donation be next?

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Can I play devil's advocate here? I don't know if this would fully work as an argument in their favor but here it goes.

The person that needs the organ donation will die if they don't get it, meaning your lack of action resulted in their death, as is natural. In the case of the abortion you are actively doing something, when otherwise the "person" in question would most likely survive if you did not take that action, as is natural. So if you don't mess with the "natural" way of doing things then you end up being moral. Action v. inaction. In one you were actively trying to "kill" someone when the other scenario you weren't.

Hope that made sense what I was trying to do there. Welcome to the strangeness that is my brain.

true, true but still, they claim to be all about LIFE! LIFE! the sanctity of LIFE! saving LIVES! and clearly they don't care about the 'natural' way of doing things, otherwise we wouldn't have Kelly Bateses running around having progesterone shots or whatever, trying to keep their uterus viable.

at the end of the day no matter how good (some of) their intentions may be, it's not really life they care about, just fetal life.

"if you're pre-born, you're fine. if you're pre-school, you're fucked" (or on the organ donation list)

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I don't see organ donation going on this direction because it has nothing to do with sex or gender roles.

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yeah, i mean organ donation isn't gender specific! MEN would be forced to 'sacrifice' parts of their bodies because 'life'. MENS bodily autonomy would be directly threatened/violated (which is not to say that currently no man's body is ever violated).

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one good thing that came of this though was a fundy fb friend who was previously strongly anti-choice, because of the comparison of organ donation and forced birth ended up reading Libby Anne's blog post about rejecting the pro-life movement--and this friend confided in me that because of the article and comparison she's rethinking her political position on abortion. one drop raises the ocean, y'all.

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The argument against Plan B pills, and the argument against pulling the plug on a brain-dead pregnant woman, basically come down to arguing that we should legally conscript the uterus, since neither of those situations involve actively killing a fetus.

The comparison with organ donation is a valid one. Being a kidney donor is roughly equivalent to having a c-section. There is another person, who is clearly alive, who needs something from your body, and the odds are quite good that you could do this without seriously risking your own life. In the case of something like a bone marrow, finding a suitable donor is extremely difficult and there may be only one person out there who is a match. Saying no is the equivalent of sentencing the potential recipient to death - but it is perfectly legal, and no pro-life group is claiming that this is something to be forced.

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one good thing that came of this though was a fundy fb friend who was previously strongly anti-choice, because of the comparison of organ donation and forced birth ended up reading Libby Anne's blog post about rejecting the pro-life movement--and this friend confided in me that because of the article and comparison she's rethinking her political position on abortion. one drop raises the ocean, y'all.

That was a very well written article. Something I have been trying to get across to people about abortion is that if they are so concerned about it then do something! Don't just yell and pass laws. Contraception, education and social welfare. That's really the point.

Yeah, I got the point about the natural way of doing things and how no one ever really follows that. People make decisions about life and death all the time, including the pro-life crowd. I have heard them, especially my family members, talk about doing everything they can to keep people alive and in some cases even be against them going off life support, so point taken. I think the belief is something like: "if we do everything we can to save them and they die anyway then it was God's will."

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It already does apply. Lifesitenews regularly rails against organ donation, because it requires the body being sustained via life support to enable harvest of the organs. Their view is that if the heart is still beating, but with no brain activity such as the McMath case, the body is alive and harvesting the organs is tantamount to murder. There are quite a few vocal prolifers who are against organ donation from the brain dead because of the heart beat issue.

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This (organ donation) was pretty much Judith Jarvis Thompson's argument in "A Defense of Abortion", published back in the 1970s and reprinted frequently since.

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