Should Brain-Dead Women Stay on Life Support Until Their Baby Is Born?

life support machinesPoliticians in Louisiana have passed a bill that requires physicians and hospitals to keep brain-dead pregnant women on life support, which Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal may soon sign into law. The goal of the law is reportedly to "permit the continuing development and live birth of an unborn child," in spite of a mother remaining mentally incapacitated.

While lawmakers of course believe they have good intentions, this is a troubling move to many, like Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, who told MSNBC, "When women suffer unimaginable tragedies in our pregnancies that render us incapable of making our own decisions, those are best left to those who know and love us and to the medical professionals who are charged with our care." Right on. Since when does the government know better than a pregnant woman and her loved ones? 

This only serves to highlight how important it is for expectant moms to discuss matters like these with their partners and loved ones. Of course it's not something that we necessarily want to think or talk about while anticipating one of life's most momentous, joyous occasions.

But being pregnant presents in itself a bevy of what ifs, and one of those is what if tragedy struck? What would you do if you were to be on life support? If you were able to make the choice, what would you want for your own welfare -- and for your baby's? Would you want to be kept alive if it gave your baby a chance to pull through?

Ultimately, the decision to pull the plug or not to is a deeply personal, tremendously difficult one. One best left to mothers and their partners, their mothers, and their health care providers. But women in Louisiana are going to have to gear up to fight to make that so.

As a mom, what would you want to do?


Image via ©iStock.com/flubydust

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00NoW... 00NoWay00

The government needs to stay out of healthcare. This should be a personal decision. Often times, a mother who is brain dead has at some point suffered loss of oxygen and the baby is likely also affected. It should be up to the family members if they want to continue to keep the mother's body alive to incubate the growing baby or not. It is not the government's business!

balan... balancing-act

Keep your laws off my body. That being said I would want to stay alive to save my unborn child.....A personal choice

nonmember avatar nursekell

I think it should be for the family to decide, based on what the mother would want.there doesn't need to be a law. I would think any mother would do anything they could to give their baby a chance at life, but some wouldn't and there might be religious implications too and it would be wrong for a law to supersede that.

Grene Tea

A braid dead pregnant woman? That will greatly impact the fetus' viability and development. And the family should have the right to decide not some self righteous politician or a self righteous nosy neighbor or random citizen.

Denise Yates

That is a situation every pregnant woman should discuss with her ob and loved ones. It should be put in writing just like a will. The law should be that the mothers wishes are honored. I personally would want to be on life support to give my baby a chance.

iicar... iicarmerin

I would hope that this decision would be left up to the medical professionals and the women's loved ones. As a mother I would want them to do everything to save my baby even if I was brain dead, I just don't think my child should die even if I do.

Avetay Avetay

I javehave been following this because I live in Louisiana.

The law does state that if you have a living will (no life saving measures) that will be upheld. If there is no living will then you will be placed on life support.

Vanessa Fasanella

It's moments like this that make you realize every adult, married or not, needs to have a directive or living will. Especially women.

nonmember avatar Fine

KEEP HER ON LIFE SUPPORT! It's all about that baby and it's the only thing that matters. Why would you kill an innocent baby?

smjon... smjones85

Ok, let us keep her on life support. Who is going to pay for that? What if she was only say 12 weeks along. WIll you foot the bill for her life support and OB care for the next 6 months or so? What if the baby would be born with severe defects that would impact his or her quality of life? There are some many implications to be considered here that just saying "Dont kill the baby" is not a good argument. 

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