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  #1  
Old 9th April 2012, 12:28 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default direct abortion vs. indirect abortion

I've just posted a new article on the distinction between direct and indirect abortion:
http://ronconte.wordpress.com/2012/0...rect-abortion/
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Old 9th April 2012, 01:43 PM
Truthseeker Truthseeker is offline
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Default direct and indirect abortion

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Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
I've just posted a new article on the distinction between direct and indirect abortion:
http://ronconte.wordpress.com/2012/0...rect-abortion/

Good article Ron, so what happens in the case of operating Siamese Twins for example, where operating would save a twin but as a consequence the other dies because he is getting life from his brother? See this link for a real case and the Churche's position on it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...e-to-Gozo.html
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Last edited by Truthseeker : 9th April 2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 9th April 2012, 02:25 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Good article Ron, so what happens in the case of operating Siamese Twins for example, where operating would save a twin but as a consequence the other dies because he is getting life from his brother? See this link for a real case and the Churche's position on it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...e-to-Gozo.html

The same criteria would apply to that operation. I don't know the specifics of the case, so I can only speak in general. If the operation is directed at saving the life of one of the twins, and that saving does not occur by means of a direct killing of the other twin, then the act would not be intrinsically evil. But the circumstances and intention would still need to be good.

If the twins share vital organs, so that both cannot be saved, moving the organs to one twin from the other would not be direct killing.

Neither is it a moral necessity to have the twins live, with an exceedingly reduced quality of life, in a joined state. The bad consequences of two persons living that type of life is a greater harm than one person living a normal life and the other person dying, in my opinion.
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Old 9th April 2012, 06:29 PM
Truthseeker Truthseeker is offline
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The same criteria would apply to that operation. I don't know the specifics of the case, so I can only speak in general. If the operation is directed at saving the life of one of the twins, and that saving does not occur by means of a direct killing of the other twin, then the act would not be intrinsically evil. But the circumstances and intention would still need to be good.

If the twins share vital organs, so that both cannot be saved, moving the organs to one twin from the other would not be direct killing.

Neither is it a moral necessity to have the twins live, with an exceedingly reduced quality of life, in a joined state. The bad consequences of two persons living that type of life is a greater harm than one person living a normal life and the other person dying, in my opinion.

If I remember well in that particular case, if they left the twins in that situation both would have died, and one of the twins only had the vital organs. For that reason separation entailed indirectly "killing" one of the twins because what was connecting him to his brother would have been removed.
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Old 10th April 2012, 12:16 AM
TheGiftOfLife
 
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Im confused, as usual, so the parents and the church opposed the operation? Under what circumstances was there a legal battle that ensued? Who brought the charges and who had to pay for the operation?

I must say, that I would have sided with the church on this. I trust they had more information than that article talks about.

Im sure if the other child was just a parasite and was brain dead, had no brain etc, then there would have been a different opinion by the church.

It could have been that they were both alive and just one set of organs.

Either way, its very sad that, once again, government gets involved in morality , yet constantly wants God and morality out of the public arena. Hypocritical as usual.
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Old 10th April 2012, 09:23 AM
Truthseeker Truthseeker is offline
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Im confused, as usual, so the parents and the church opposed the operation? Under what circumstances was there a legal battle that ensued? Who brought the charges and who had to pay for the operation?

I must say, that I would have sided with the church on this. I trust they had more information than that article talks about.

Im sure if the other child was just a parasite and was brain dead, had no brain etc, then there would have been a different opinion by the church.

It could have been that they were both alive and just one set of organs.

Either way, its very sad that, once again, government gets involved in morality , yet constantly wants God and morality out of the public arena. Hypocritical as usual.

I also got confused since the Bishop was a very learned man....this is the whole case http://www.hss.cmu.edu/philosophy/london/Twins.pdf. I don't think the twin that died had a dead brain....just vital organs (like the heart) was only in one baby.......but if the operation would not have been done both would have died according to medical staff. Perhaps you can read the full article here since I did not have time to read it all. I am just saying from what I remember

As far as I remember it was the doctors who took the case to court since the operation took place in UK and not in Malta.
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Old 10th April 2012, 12:25 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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From the point of view of moral theology, this is not a very controversial case. Given that both would die without the operation, and that they share organs, there is a moral obligation to act. Taking shared organs from one, and giving them solely to the other is an act that directly saves one life. The loss of the other life is indirect, because the organs are shared. In other words, the one child is not saved by the death of the other, but instead the death of the other is a result of saving the one life.

Let's compare this situation to direct and indirect abortion.

Direct abortion: a mother is pregnant and has severe chronic illnesses. The physicians conclude that her pregnancy will endanger her life, due to the additional stress on the body as pregnancy advances. An abortion would save her life. The abortion is direct because her life is saved by means of the abortion.

The moral object of the act is what makes any act intrinsically evil or intrinsically good. The moral object is the proximate end, i.e. the morally immediate end, toward which the act is inherently ordered.

In the above example, the immediate end is the death of the prenatal, and the chosen act is inherently ordered toward that end. There is a morally-direct or we could say morally-immediate relationship between the chosen act, with its inherent ordering, and the moral object. The life of the mother is saved only by means of the death of the prenatal, so the saving of her life is not morally immediate or direct.

Indirect abortion: a mother is pregnant and has cancer. Treating the cancer will kill the prenatal. Which end is the moral object, the treatment of the mother, or the death of the prenatal? The death of the prenatal occurs as a result of treating the cancer, so that end is not proximate. Therefore, the abortion is indirect.

Similarly, with the conjoined twins case, the one life is saved, not by the death of the other, but by moving shared organs to the one. The life of the other is lost as a result of this life-saving treatment, and so that loss of life is indirect.
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Old 10th April 2012, 02:35 PM
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The case of the Siamese Twins pointed out by Truthseeker is a good question but in this case I agree with Ron. Knowing that both were going to die and that a surgery can save at least one of them, the good consequence outweighs the bad - one alive instead of both dead.

There are also cases where Siamese can live together but I think it's morally good for them to have an operation to separate them if the anticipation to the consequences is that they both can live after the surgery and have a better life. All surgeries are risky, and if one of them dies as a result, I don't think it is immoral because the act was not intrinsically evil and the intention was to save both lives.

If there is a case of Siamese twins where both can live together united but a surgery trying to separate them fill definitely kill one of them, I think in this case a surgery should not be performed because of the anticipated consequence that one will definitely die.

Last edited by Brother : 10th April 2012 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 10th April 2012, 02:44 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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If there is a case of Siamese twins where both can live together united but a surgery trying to separate them fill definitely kill one of them, I think in this case a surgery should not be performed because of the anticipated consequence that one will definitely die.

The bad consequence that one person will die is not sufficient to make the third font (circumstances) bad. We must consider the full moral weight of all good and bad consequences. So we have to consider the quality of life if both live united together, versus the quality of life if separation occurs.

a. separation: one person lives a full normal life, the other dies

b. no separation: both live, but their quality of life is greatly reduced; they suffer (not merely by pain) the loss of normal activity and participation in life. This bad consequence for two lives is very substantial.

This point is also part of the decision to remove or withhold extraordinary medical interventions, merely to keep a person alive, with no substantial quality of life. The Church does not teach that the person's life must be prolonged. So as long as the act or omission is not intrinsically evil, and one intends only good, sometimes the good consequence of merely living is outweighed by other considerations.
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  #10  
Old 10th April 2012, 03:08 PM
TheGiftOfLife
 
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The physicians conclude that her pregnancy will endanger her life, due to the additional stress on the body as pregnancy advances. An abortion would save her life. The abortion is direct because her life is saved by means of the abortion.

First let me say that I put NO faith in Doctors, just to let you all know where I am coming from.

I take issue with arrogance and definitive life and death statements that doctors make in general because they are the tools that the devil uses to push prescription drugs, contraception and abortions, as if this is HEALTH CARE. To me, the medical community is on the verge, overall, of doing MORE harm to humanity than good.

Given that, Im glad Ron uses the above example that some doctors use pregnancy as a disease. I know of no case where a predicted pregnancy has killed someone. Doctors are wrong all the time and no one every reports on that. One life is never valued as more than another life, so i am sorry to say this but I think the Siamese twin case is not the same as the pregnant mother with cancer, as cancer treatment does not 100% guarantee the death of the baby, but removing the twin, to me does.

Hey I think I saw a documentary on this on TV years ago.

Last edited by TheGiftOfLife : 10th April 2012 at 03:17 PM.
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