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Old November 10 2008, 11:45 PM   #310
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Re: Star Trek: Destiny: Gods of Night - SPOILER Thread

Baerbel Haddrell wrote: View Post
What is an abortion? I am a medical layman but to me it is the removal of an unborn child. This is what Dr. Ree did not only recommend, he wanted to force Deanna and he even has the law on his side. Trying to force a woman to have an abortion here and now is NOT in any woman`s best interest.
The word "abort" simply means "to stop before completion." Any time a pregnancy ends before delivery, any time a fetus dies, it is technically an abortion, whether it happens naturally or by medical intervention. Laypeople are used to using the word "miscarriage" for a spontaneous termination and "abortion" for a surgical termination, and we've attached a lot of emotional and political baggage to the latter term. But medically speaking, a miscarriage is simply a spontaneous abortion.

That Dr. Ree insisted that the fetus is not viable and that it is endangering the mother`s life doesn`t change that. Removing a dying, mutating fetus that endangers its mother`s life is still performing an abortion. If the mother loses the baby naturally because it is not viable, that is a very different scenario. Trying to force Deanna to get the fetus removed because it will die anyway according to Dr. Ree is not making it right.
Hmm, I suppose I can see your point. You're looking at it from the perspective of a woman's right to decide what's done with her own body, and I can sympathize with that, being pro-choice myself. On the other hand, I think that if someone is determined to make a choice that places herself in danger, especially when there's no possible gain, then that person's ability to make responsible judgments is open to question.

And let's remember that she's an officer in a pseudomilitary organization. That means she doesn't have quite the same degree of freedom that a civilian would have. When she joined Starfleet, she chose to accept that she would be subject to the orders of superior officers. And we know that in Starfleet, a chief medical officer has the authority to give medically related orders to anyone, even the captain. Since we're talking about a military(ish) chain of command, the standards for individual freedom are necessarily different. If Ree and Deanna were civilians, the situation might be very different than it is. But they aren't civilians, and I think that needs to be taken into account.

Claudia wrote: View Post
Hm, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. IMO a doctor's first duty is to present the truth, make his/her recommendation - and then support the patient in whatever he/she decides, even if the doctor doesn't agree. And that last point is where Ree ultimately failed horribly.
I think the best doctor-patient relationship of course, lies in the middle - neither is the doctor dominant, as he/she was for so many years, nor should the patient simply leave his decision making abilities just at the doctor's office's door and let him/her take over. Ree, for instance, reminded me of the former - could he get any more condescending?
Well, Ree is from a predatory culture, and as we've seen, although his commitment to preserving life and health is clear, his approach can be a lot more forceful than we'd expect from a human doctor (for instance, biting off an aggressor's arm but making sure to reattach it promptly thereafter). It's in his nature to push hard for the well-being of his charges. It's an aspect of his species' psychology and culture. Titan is about being who think differently learning to coexist. Ree's definitions of medical ethics aren't necessarily human ones.
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