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Heartbeat Bills and End-of-Life Decisions

Posted Dec 21 2011 2:31pm
I do not regularly follow legal developments concerning reproduction.  But I have long been aware that the politics of end-of-life decision making and the politics of reproductive decision making are intertwined.  Reviewing  some of the materials  on pending "heartbeat bills" drives this home.  

At least in a significant subset of cases, the rationales are parallel.  Just as decisions to withhold or withdraw LSMT at the end of life are driven by the patient's potential quality of life, many abortions are prompted by concerns about the fetus' potential quality of life.  

The heartbeat bills elevate the intrinsic value of biological life above its quantity or quality.  I am concerned that the passage of such bills could create a dangerous vitalist wedge for still further encroachments on patient choice.

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