Titan: And the issue of Abortion (Destiny Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Claudia, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Irrational isn't the same as "not of sound mind". (And I still think had Ree given her time alone instead of pressuring her into undergoing that procedure here and now, she'd have agreed - so the fault does lie in Ree's impatience and non-empathy).

    Well, there's a difference whether the patient consciously submits or refuses to submit to a treatment - or whether it's an emergency case where the patient can't be asked.

    It was *her* decision whether to undergo the abortion or not. Take a patient scheduled for surgery who absolutely refuses and forbids the use of blood transfusions - doesn't make much sense to most people, but still it's his/her decision and the surgeon has to abide by it, even if that should mean his/her death...
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    Perfect analogy, Claudia. I need say no more; you've said it all.
     
  3. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    I agree w/ NG & C. Yes, at the time, it seemed like the baby would die, and could take her with it. But Dr. Ree also found human/Betazoid etc. babies in the womb to be "parasitic" to begin with. He didn't seem to have empathy to a woman whose baby- who she wanted dearly- was dying. Then she was sprung with the fact that that she could never conceive. Of course she wanted to hold onto the conceived child at all costs.

    If it came to that, if the baby was dead, then having it removed wouldn't have been an issue if he had been more patient and calm, and let her have time to think. For Deanna, this was a tragedy- and an empath can sense her baby- its contentment, and it's pain and fear. If he had had a more trusting relationship, she could have been monitored til the end, then undergone treatment when the baby passed away safe and warm in the womb.

    I agree if a baby is dying/dead with *no hope* at the end, that the mother shouldn't die with it. But I'm not sure Dr. Ree "understood" Deanna, and his reaction seemed a bit callous- can't help it, lets get it out... but she needed time, love, and understanding, and she didn't get it. And its good for Ree to have a bit of fallout from that. Love isn't mathematical. It breaks rules, it is completely illogical.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  4. Baerbel Haddrell

    Baerbel Haddrell Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    I very much agree with what Claudia said and I made similar points in the past. My personal history adds to the impact that story had on me.

    I have just started the book and I will read the part with Ree and Deanna mentioned here with much interest.
     
  5. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    I thought that the Ree/Deanna thing was resolved in Torrent Sea absolutely perfectly. Just a beautiful emotional arc for everyone involved, plot tangent or no.

    On another note, it's interesting to me how many different reactions that whole Ree/Troi thing in Destiny caused on here. My personal reaction was "oh my God why is Troi being such a total idiot", but I've never known anyone in that circumstance, and seeing so many people that could relate react so strongly in the opposite direction (ie, "oh my God why is Ree being such an ass") really made me think. Trek books are so damn interesting these days!
     
  6. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    ^TBH, at first I found her to be stubborn and hysterical, since I haven't really read TNG and just dove into Destiny. And I've never liked Troi, I found her useful... maybe once in on-screen TNG.

    But I have known people who have lost babies, and just how hard that can be even years later.

    SPOILERS FOR DESTINY-

    In case any of you didn't read Destiny!!

    !!


    Then I found out Deanna had already lost a baby, that she really, really wanted one, and Riker did, and that if she lost this one, she couldn't conceive again. So her desperation to hang on to the baby made a bit more sense emotionally.

    And then I didn't like how Ree dealt with her so her continued refusal made some sense. If someone thought all the unborn infants of my species were parasites to begin with I'd find their advice... a bit off. If he's that good of a doctor, wouldn't his understanding of pregnancy have a better description than "parasitic?" Blech!

    Plus I found it hard to believe that, on the Titan, all of a sudden her baby could die and kill her. It was written that way for a reason of course- the emotional response etc... I didn't see why he couldn't monitor her (which he eventually did) talk really nicely to her, give her a chance to think... and when the baby was dead, have an alarm go off and fix her.

    Tho TBH, the more I learned about the Caeliar, I knew what was coming and wanted Ree to back off... LOL!
     
  7. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    Abortion is a VERY touchy and controversial subject. So much so that it's being debated in Congress. I give kudos to CLB for writing it in but I wonder if you Christopher were worried about the reaction you might have gotten on it?

    Also, this is the 2nd time Ree's gone nuts (Destiny was the first) wasn't their a way to try to reason with Troi without going into a frenzy?
     
  8. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    Wow, really!?!

    Both the House of Commons and Lords were discussing and trying to push through a law on this subject a few months back, they failed of course as they wanted to reduce the time that a woman can have an abortion, from 24 weeks down to as little as 12!!!
     
  9. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    I don't think it's as much a hot topic here as it is in the USA - now if they wanted to make it hot topic, they should have had a character get knocked up, abort the kid for career reasons and not tell the father. They would have got people foaming at the mouth...
     
  10. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    24 weeks? :confused: A woman can abort up till the end of the 6th month, without any reason, or does the abortion at such a late stage at least depend on some kind of illness of/danger to mother/child etc.?

    If the former, then that's questionable at best, because at 24 weeks an aborted fetus is potentially viable after all (it's possible for babies born prematurely as early as the 23rd week of pregnancy to survive...), therefore if there's no medical reason women (and doctors) tread quite a fine line.

    I mean, if there's no medical reason, that can only be diagnosed later on, 12 weeks should definitely suffice for a woman to make a decision either way...
     
  11. Dimesdan

    Dimesdan Living the Irish dream. Premium Member

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    I have no idea why it is 24 weeks, that's what was decided when abortion was legalised in the UK and when HMG tried to change it last year, they failed.
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    I for one do accept that people have a right to commit suicide.... if they are not doing so because of a mental illness that impairs their judgment, and if they are not members of the armed forces.

    Deanna, however, is an officer in the Federation Starfleet. She therefore does not have the right to refuse medical treatment that her chief medical officer has determined is necessary for her to survive -- not unless she resigns her commission, anyway. As such, I agree that Dr. Ree did nothing wrong -- though I accept different reasons for that.
     
  13. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    Can you provide a source for that regulation?
     
  14. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    Really?

    INT. SICKBAY:

    DEANNA: Doctor, I'm not gonna make it...

    REE: Stop talking like that! Tri-ox!

    DEANNA: I'm a goner. You should be taking care of someone who still has a shot...

    REE: Dammit, I'm not gonna let you die! Do you hear me? You're going to make it!

    DEANNA: I hereby resign my commission.

    REE: Ah, well, it was nice knowing you. Nurse, get this stiff outta here...
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    It's a logical consequence of what we've already seen about Starfleet CMOs. We know that a CMO can issue an order to a commanding officer to submit to a medical examination from "The Doomsday Machine," and we know from TNG's "Violations" that a CMO has the right to issue an order to an officer, even a superior one, to submit to medical treatment.

    Then there's the discussion in Gods of Night, where Dr. Ree and Commander Vale discuss the authority of Captain Riker to issue an order to Commander Troi to submit to the medical abortion in order to save her life -- and the severe conflict of interest it creates when Captain Riker is unwilling to issue such an order to this particular officer under his command because she happens to be his wife.
     
  16. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    Still, it wasn't necessary for neither Ree nor Vale (a bit hypocritical IMO to go behind Riker on this one - and offer a shoulder to lean on in the next scene virtually) to enforce their point like that. Restricted duty for the time being, a transponder so that sickbay can intervene when necessary, perhaps even combined with an emergency transport, so that Troi can be transported to sickbay with all due haste... that definitely would have been enough until Troi was ready to make her decision.

    And *that*'s what has been missing in GoN. (And of course the fact, that Ree should have referred Troi to another doctor.)

    And @ Christopher,

    well, I think if a book goes down that slippery road (even if it's about spontaneous abortion, fetus non viable etc.), especially given Ree's lack in empathy - then it's just normal that people discuss such a sensitive topic. That's quite obvious IMO at least, and of course this discussion will repeat itself "the next time we see these characters" so to speak. If that's uncomfortable for you, DM or any of the editors... then... well... I'd say this piece of plot shouldn't have been introduced at all. (Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I don't react well to being told what I should discuss...)

    Again, it's not the abortion part that still annoys me because that was resolved deus ex machina-like - it's Ree's attitude... and this comes back every time Ree appears right now unless he thinks about it and does something about it really fast.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea (SPOILERS)

    It really wasn't her decision to make. She relinquished the right to make medical decisions that deliberately endanger her life for no reason when she entered Starfleet. She had absolutely no right to try to prevent a medical procedure that would save her life, and she, frankly, ought to be charged with dereliction of duty for it.

    I think you're severely exaggerating the extent to which Ree was unsympathetic. Yes, he had a cultural and biological predisposition to be repulsed by the idea of mammalian pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that he didn't understand the psychology behind it. It's just that, well, TOO BAD. An officer was refusing medical treatment she needed, and something had to be done about it. By refusing treatment, she was being an irresponsible officer.
     
  18. William Leisner

    William Leisner Scribbler Rear Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    I'm sorry, it is not at all "logical" that CMOs have supreme and unquestionable authority which trumps the individual's right to control their own bodies. Frankly, it's nothing short of frightening.

    I need to be refreshed on what medical procedure Crusher forced on whom in "Violations" (an episode that I thought had plenty enough rape analogies in it as is). But, I ask you to consider "Ethics," where Worf was able to demand an experimental medical procedure over CMO Crusher's strident protests. Not only that, but in the same episode, we have Riker agreeing that Worf has the right to commit ritual suicide, and only tries to make it difficult -- but not impossible -- for Worf to carry through with his intentions. The "logical" conclusion here is that in the Federation, individuals have the right to control their own bodies and lifes.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    In that particular episode, it was as innocuous a treatment as sleep. But if a CMO can order one type of treatment, it follows that they can order any they deem medically necessary.

    There's a difference between demanding an experimental treatment and actively choosing something that's detrimental to one's health.

    Then he's being far too lenient (apparently a pattern for Riker when it comes to people he loves).

    In the Federation, sure. In Starfleet? The evidence we've seen -- from Riker being described as having the authority to order Troi to undergo the procedure in Gods of Night, to Starfleet being able to force Data to give up his emotion chip in A Time to... well after it had been determined that he was a legal person and citizen, to CMOs being able to order someone to undergo medical examinations and to relieve them of duty if they have a medical reason-- strongly implies that one gives up a certain amount of control over your own body and health when you choose to join Starfleet.
     
  20. Claudia

    Claudia Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Titan: Over a Torrent Sea

    A certain amount of control - but not every control.

    Remember, the time the situation came up, there was no reason at all to force Deanna to do anything. Titan wasn't in any crisis, there was no landing party planned etc.

    I do, to a certain extent, mind you, agree that in times of crisis Ree would have had the authority to overrule Deanna's decisions - but I emphasize the word "crisis". And a medical situation that just concerns the patient herself doesn't fall under that definition. Frankly, for all the fuss he made early on he was awfully lenient about letting her go to the Caeliar. IMO, *at that moment* he should have put his foot down, because then it wasn't only about Deanna anymore but about the whole away team.

    I'm not military, and I never plan to be - but I highly doubt that, just because you join a military organization, that organization can tell/order you what to do with your own body *any time*. If it puts others at risk, granted, but otherwise...

    William Leisner already pointed out quite a few canon examples where the patient definitely overruled the doctor... And I think it's interesting that the examples you, Sci, refer to all happen in TrekLit. Granted, the authority was established in canon - but it was acted upon with severe caution, and not just because a doctor simply doesn't understand the patient's need for more time (which he was able to give Troi after all).

    And sorry, but, Sci, your opinion about Troi's dereliction of duty sounds quite a bit farfetched to me. Up to the point of the landing party's departure, was Troi incapable of carrying out her duties? Did she endanger anyone? I'd say no.

    And Ree definitely didn't understand the psychological effects of a mammal pregnancy, and the attachment of a pregnant woman to the fetus... perhaps you should read the pertinent pages again?!? :rolleyes:

    But I realize, it's a circular discussion... because I simply think that there are too many issues raised, that all affect people differently. So I'm quite looking forward to reading the drama's continuation. ;)