Bobby Jindal signs bill directing doctors to keep pregnant women on life support if fetus viable


Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed legislation directing doctors in Louisiana to keep alive pregnant women who are incapacitated if it’s determined the fetus they’re carrying has a viable chance at life.

Some state lawmakers fought during the recent legislative session to change the proposal so family members have more say regarding decisions about administering life-sustaining procedures to their loved ones. That concession was scrapped, though, at the bill sponsor’s request. The version that made it to Jindal’s desk directs doctors to make the call, erring on the side of protecting the fetus, in the event that there’s any legal ambiguity.

The sponsor of the legislation, Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, defined legal ambiguity as any situation except one in which a woman’s living will specified an order of “do not resuscitate while pregnant.”


On the one hand, this is a natural result of recognizing the rights of the fetus as a human being who deserves to be born. On the other hand there’s the concern about every other factor that legislation misses. In other words, I find error in legislation as a vehicle, though I agree with the intent. I’m glad that at least the discretion of the doctor is exercised and hopefully we’ll avoid the accusations from pro-choice groups about brain-dead women forced into being used as baby incubators.

That said, I think doctors will defer to family wishes more often than to the State Law. I think this because spouses generally have power of attorney, and even where they don’t, the State must show compelling interest to intercede. Whether this is correctly compelling interest is something that will likely get decided in the Courts.


These decisions are complicated enough without getting politics into them. Even the Church gives us the guidelines and leaves their practical application to families and their doctors. People - on both sides of the life debate - need to realize that they are*** not God*** and not everything in life is black and white. So much for small government!

Women, all women, save your families the heartache and make out a living will…


I second this:

And may you never have to use it!


That’s for sure. If you want big liberal government intruding in your life, vote Democrat. If you want big conservative (or right wing wacko, to be more accurate) government intruding in your life, vote Republican. Either way, prepare for unwanted, unnecessary, big government intrusion.


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