Ectopic Pregnancy Question

#21

The cancerous uterous is the perfect example of the principle of double effect. The uterous is removed to save the life of the mother, the death of the baby would be an undesired effect.

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#22

[quote=manualman]Something doesn’t pass the sniff test here. I quite respect Fr. Pavone, but this is almost blatant semantics. The TUBE isn’t the problem, the pregnancy is. The tube isn’t diseased, it has a doomed baby stuck inside. I don’t see how removal of the tube section isn’t a direct abortion.

What about this: If the ectopic pregnancy is detected when the baby is still quite small, which it would have to be when still in a fallopian tube, why not open the tube, remove the baby and place it into the uterous? Would this involve additional medical risk to the mom? Even if it was considered to medically have no chance, the INTENT would be to try to relocate the baby to a place where it could grow to term.

Even if it had no chance now, perhaps starting to behave this way would lead to developments that would make it possible in the future?
[/quote]

Actually, if you read post #16, I show links that show there could be a problem with the tube.

Also, I have asked the same question about relocating the fetus. I don’t have good links, but I was told that it can be dangerous to the mother. There have been attempts to do this in the past, but nothing has been successfull… I certainly hope that this can be helped by medical science in the future…

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#23

[quote=yochumjy] The tube is an incorrect implantation point, and the rupture of the tube will cause the mother’s death.
[/quote]

Since I am still very much alive, the above is not always the case. When I had an extopic pregnancy, the tube ruptured. The damaged tube was removed. Others I know with ectopic pregnancies have “discovered” them when they rupture.

You know you are pregnant, the stick turns colors and you have all the symptoms - and then there is this amazing pain, and for me, bleeding. These happen very, very early in the pregnancy, they are painful both physically and emotionally.

I pray for my lost child every day.

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#24

[quote=manualman]Something doesn’t pass the sniff test here. I quite respect Fr. Pavone, but this is almost blatant semantics. The TUBE isn’t the problem, the pregnancy is. The tube isn’t diseased, it has a doomed baby stuck inside. I don’t see how removal of the tube section isn’t a direct abortion.

What about this: If the ectopic pregnancy is detected when the baby is still quite small, which it would have to be when still in a fallopian tube, why not open the tube, remove the baby and place it into the uterous? Would this involve additional medical risk to the mom? Even if it was considered to medically have no chance, the INTENT would be to try to relocate the baby to a place where it could grow to term.

Even if it had no chance now, perhaps starting to behave this way would lead to developments that would make it possible in the future?
[/quote]

The tube will burst if not treated, right?

The issue being addressed is whether its ok to kill the baby. It does not address the issue of trying to save the baby by relocating it. When the baby is removed alone or killed and then removed, the action* is* killing the baby. I am not a medical doctor, but I did a little research and it seems that relocating an ectopic pregnancy is not something that is being done (I found a few articles either saying it can’t be done or saying it is something that can hopefully be done in the future).

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#25

Ok, so we know that removing either the section of the tube or the baby itself will inevitably kill him/her, assuming the child has not already died.

I would think there is a difference between applying an abortive drug (methotrexate) to kill the child so it can be removed and removing the child from the tube *to preserve the life/health of the mother * while also preserving the mother’s fertility, inevitably killing the child just as the removal of the section of the tube would.

Anyone see a flaw in that application of the double effect? I suppose it depends whether or not removing the child is considered intrinsically wrong. Since children are removed from the uterus on a fairly regular basis, I think no. The viability or lack thereof is the main difference here, so I don’t see how removing the baby could be viewed as anything less than morally indifferent.

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#26

[quote=kage_ar]Since I am still very much alive, the above is not always the case. When I had an extopic pregnancy, the tube ruptured. The damaged tube was removed. Others I know with ectopic pregnancies have “discovered” them when they rupture.

You know you are pregnant, the stick turns colors and you have all the symptoms - and then there is this amazing pain, and for me, bleeding. These happen very, very early in the pregnancy, they are painful both physically and emotionally.

I pray for my lost child every day.
[/quote]

I am SOO SORRY for your loss!! We have lost a child in the womb also, but not by this!

Maybe I have been mislead, but if a tube ruptures and is left alone, I thought that was what could kill the mother.

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#27

[quote=vluvski]Ok, so we know that removing either the section of the tube or the baby itself will inevitably kill him/her, assuming the child has not already died.

I would think there is a difference between applying an abortive drug (methotrexate) to kill the child so it can be removed and removing the child from the tube *to preserve the life/health of the mother * while also preserving the mother’s fertility, inevitably killing the child just as the removal of the section of the tube would.

Anyone see a flaw in that application of the double effect?
[/quote]

The mother’s fertility really doesn’t have the same importance as the life of the mother or child. The question is do you directly kill the child with a drug or removal, or does a procedure to protect the mother from a rupturing tube end up killing the child. There is direct action to the child or indirect action, as I understand the issue. I believe the indirect action is what the case is based on.

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#28

John, please see me edit. Would like your comments. Thanks.

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#29

[quote=yochumjy]I am SOO SORRY for your loss!! We have lost a child in the womb also, but not by this!

Maybe I have been mislead, but if a tube ruptures and is left alone, I thought that was what could kill the mother.
[/quote]

A lady from my mom’s church had a ectopic that ruptured, yet, all of the bleeding was internal - so, she went untreated and it was touch and go (she made it thank God).

From my limited experience, one finds out that what seemed like a normal pregnancy is discovered to be tubal when it ruptures. In my case, I’d had some severe pain a week before, they ran an ultrasound and everything was pronounced fine. Had a follow up appointment for the next week, and the day before that appointment I ruptured. Had no clue that this (my second) pregnancy was ectopic until that moment.

The bleeding was heavy, and it can be dangerous - I was blessed to have a great doctor who responded quickly.

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#30

[quote=vluvski]Ok, so we know that removing either the section of the tube or the baby itself will inevitably kill him/her, assuming the child has not already died.

I would think there is a difference between applying an abortive drug (methotrexate) to kill the child so it can be removed and removing the child from the tube *to preserve the life/health of the mother * while also preserving the mother’s fertility, inevitably killing the child just as the removal of the section of the tube would.

Anyone see a flaw in that application of the double effect? I suppose it depends whether or not removing the child is considered intrinsically wrong. Since children are removed from the uterus on a fairly regular basis, I think no. The viability or lack thereof is the main difference here, so I don’t see how removing the baby could be viewed as anything less than morally indifferent.
[/quote]

Perhaps its because you are comparing removal of babies that have a chance of survival, for preservation of life (is that what you meant by children being removed on a regular basis?) with removing those that do not. The latter is not an indifferent act.

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#31

[quote=vluvski]Ok, so we know that removing either the section of the tube or the baby itself will inevitably kill him/her, assuming the child has not already died.

I would think there is a difference between applying an abortive drug (methotrexate) to kill the child so it can be removed and removing the child from the tube *to preserve the life/health of the mother * while also preserving the mother’s fertility, inevitably killing the child just as the removal of the section of the tube would.

Anyone see a flaw in that application of the double effect? I suppose it depends whether or not removing the child is considered intrinsically wrong. Since children are removed from the uterus on a fairly regular basis, I think no. The viability or lack thereof is the main difference here, so I don’t see how removing the baby could be viewed as anything less than morally indifferent.
[/quote]

I see I caught you between edits! :wink:

Let me add to my last answer… When a child is removed to save the tube, it is my understanding that the baby is scraped or sucked out, thus a killing. Removing the child to be intact, could affect the tube (ok, I am just guessing on that one). I am not a doctor and could not speak intellegently about what problems would be caused by trying to remove the child intact and reattach in the womb, but if I were a part of an ectopic pregnancy, I would certainly want to try to question the Drs about that…

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#32

Whether the doctor removes the tube containing the child or just opens the tube to remove the child, BOTH appear to me to be direct abortions. In both cases, the intent is to prevent the tube rupture by removing the growing baby which, if left in place, WILL cause the rupture.

It still seems to me that attempting to reimplant the child in the uterous (even if 99.99998% chance against it working) still changes the procedure from a purposeful killing of the child to save the mother into an attempt to relocate the child in order to save AT LEAST the mother and PERHAPS both.

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#33

[quote=manualman]Whether the doctor removes the tube containing the child or just opens the tube to remove the child, BOTH appear to me to be direct abortions. In both cases, the intent is to prevent the tube rupture by removing the growing baby which, if left in place, WILL cause the rupture.

It still seems to me that attempting to reimplant the child in the uterous (even if 99.99998% chance against it working) still changes the procedure from a purposeful killing of the child to save the mother into an attempt to relocate the child in order to save AT LEAST the mother and PERHAPS both.
[/quote]

No comment on my links that indicate previous tubals are an indicator for future ones? Can you say there is no cause and effect?

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#34

[quote=manualman]Whether the doctor removes the tube containing the child or just opens the tube to remove the child, BOTH appear to me to be direct abortions. In both cases, the intent is to prevent the tube rupture by removing the growing baby which, if left in place, WILL cause the rupture.

It still seems to me that attempting to reimplant the child in the uterous (even if 99.99998% chance against it working) still changes the procedure from a purposeful killing of the child to save the mother into an attempt to relocate the child in order to save AT LEAST the mother and PERHAPS both.
[/quote]

The examples being given are of babies that are being removed without the purpose of relocation, which is what is being done. If relocation was at all possible, it would be a different case.

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#35

[quote=yochumjy]The cancerous uterous is the perfect example of the principle of double effect. The uterous is removed to save the life of the mother, the death of the baby would be an undesired effect.
[/quote]

I’ll disagree. The mother could wait until the baby has a viable chance at life out of the womb to remove the cancer. And there are many things that can be done to slow the cancer in the mean time.


The problem with these arguements is they assume the value of the mother is more than the value of the inconvienent pregnancy.


I would also like to point out that using major surgery as the litmus for whether something is morally okay or not is really going to skirt the line in many cases.


What about the woman who decides to get a hesterectomy or tubal because she may die if she gets pregnant again? It seem like sematics to say she’s doing it to save her own life and that the birth control aspect is just an “undersired effect”.

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#36

[quote=yochumjy]No comment on my links that indicate previous tubals are an indicator for future ones? Can you say there is no cause and effect?
[/quote]

Yes, there is an absolute cause and effect as stated in my pregnancy book. Basicly the scar tissue in the tube from the previous ectopic removal surgery can be a “sticking” place for the next pregnancy. (about a 20% higher chance of another ectopic)


However, in most cases the tubal is done on emergency bases - in other words, the tube has burst or is dangerously close to it. So whether it may lead to another ectopic pregnancy is really a non-issue as there is no other treatment available.

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#37

[quote=Rob’s Wife]I’ll disagree. The mother could wait until the baby has a viable chance at life out of the womb to remove the cancer. And there are many things that can be done to slow the cancer in the mean time.


The problem with these arguements is they assume the value of the mother is more than the value of the inconvienent pregnancy.


I would also like to point out that using major surgery as the litmus for whether something is morally okay or not is really going to skirt the line in many cases.


What about the woman who decides to get a hesterectomy or tubal because she may die if she gets pregnant again? It seem like sematics to say she’s doing it to save her own life and that the birth control aspect is just an “undersired effect”.
[/quote]

Of course the argument depends on some assumptions. If a woman is one month pregnant and is given one month to live (at a 99.9% probability) then that is certainly different from a woman who is 7 month’s pregnant and has a 10% probability of dying. The point is there is a principal of double effect that can allow the removal of the uterous. Also, the removal of the uterous is not really a birth control issue if done for the sake of cancer. It will depend on circumstances, but it can be licit. Just about anything can be used in the correct or the wrong way.

What about the woman who decides to get a hesterectomy or tubal because she may die if she gets pregnant again? It seem like sematics to say she’s doing it to save her own life and that the birth control aspect is just an “undersired effect”.

If there is a medical reason to have hysterectomy/tube removal/etc then it can be done, but it has to be a medical necessity at the current time.

You do not get to throw out the principal of double effect just because it can be abused.

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#38

[quote=Rob’s Wife]Yes, there is an absolute cause and effect as stated in my pregnancy book. Basicly the scar tissue in the tube from the previous ectopic removal surgery can be a “sticking” place for the next pregnancy. (about a 20% higher chance of another ectopic)


However, in most cases the tubal is done on emergency bases - in other words, the tube has burst or is dangerously close to it. So whether it may lead to another ectopic pregnancy is really a non-issue as there is no other treatment available.
[/quote]

Actually, I have no issue with a tube being removed, I have an issue with the drugs that are given to cause an abortion, or the removal of a child just to try and save the fertility of the mother.

What is your book called? It sounds like it could be very informative. (and hopefully you either have a pen-name on the book or don’t feel bad about people potentially knowing your real identity…I’ll understand if you you don’t give the book name out publically…)

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#39

There is a room full of gas. The room should be there. It is doing its job there. All is well.

There is fire. Fire in and of itself is good and positive because it is used to start the stove that heats the house that keeps the people from freezing to death and it also allows someone to cook the food to keep them from starving to death. All is well.

A guy goes walking through the room of gas with a lighter in his pocket. What do we do?

Do we pick up the entire foundation, building and all, and remove the room of gas with the fire in it? No. We remove the fire from the room.

The fallopian tube is not the problem. The baby is not the problem. The baby in the fallopian tube is the problem. We must remove the baby from the tube. Taking the tube and all is purposefully mutilating the mother’s body, inhibiting its reproductive functions, for no purpose other than to philosophically and theoretically justify what our main point is in the first place: to remove the baby from the tube, where it does not belong.

[quote=Catechism]2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
[/quote]

The catechism further exhorts us that we are not to mutilate or render parts of our body unusable (2296). And that the intention of the person can make the difference between something being sinful or not (ie intending to save the mother as opposed to intending to kill the child) (1752). As a matter of fact, the same arguments seem to apply here as they do to tattooing. Why would we purposefully mutilate a part of a woman’s body and perhaps render it unusable just to sidestep the fact that our point in the first place is to remove the baby from the environment it does not belong in?

Fire is not bad. Gas is not bad. Fire in a room full of gas is bad. We would remove the fire, not the room.

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#40

[quote=lifeisbeautiful]Perhaps its because you are comparing removal of babies that have a chance of survival, for preservation of life (is that what you meant by children being removed on a regular basis?) with removing those that do not. The latter is not an indifferent act.
[/quote]

I still don’t understand how the action of removing a child from the mother’s body (be it the uterus or the fallopian tube) becomes **in itself ** morally wrong based on whether or not the child can survive once it is removed.

Here are the criteria to be satisfied:
A. The act must be good or indifferent in itself.
B. The good the agent intends must not be obtained by means of evil.
C. The evil effect must not be intended for itself but only permitted.
D. There must be a proportionately grave reason for permitting the evil effect to occur.

Here’s my logic:

  1. What is the danger to the mother? A rupture of the fallopian tube, left untreated, will likely lead to the death of the mother. Satisfies D.
  2. How can the rupture be prevented without killing the baby? It can’t with current medical technology. Thus, killing the baby must be permitted in order to prevent the dangerous rupture of the fallopian tube. Satisfies C.
  3. How can the rupture be prevented if killing the baby is permitted? i)surgical removal of the tube ii)surgical removal of the baby iii)application of methotrexate.

i) is not immoral because it has already been shown to be a proper application of the double effect.

iii) is not a proper application of the double effect because the intended action of the methotrexate is to kill the baby, thereby preventing the baby’s growth from causing the tube to rupture. This seems to rule out B, not A. Administration of methotrexate in itself is not evil (A), but the means by which the desired effect occurs (killing the baby) is intrinsically evil (B).

ii) is still in question. I have not studied theology, philosophy, or medicine. The act of removing the baby from the fallopian tube, where it is both a hazard to the mother and will inevitably die itself, is IMO at least morally indifferent if not morally good (A). I say morally good because advances in science may someday allow reimplantation, which would be good for both the mother and the baby. The purpose of removing the baby is to prevent the baby’s growth from causing the fallopian tube to rupture which poses a significant danger to the mother ©. The final distinction, then, is to keep asking how the action relates to the desired effect. If at any point one must answer something immoral, then B is not satisfied. If I keep asking how, the only thing I do to the baby is remove it from the tube where it will die anyway. The baby’s death is a tragic side effect of that removal, but as long as the baby dies as a result of the removal and I didn’t kill it in order to remove it, I can find no means of evil to dissatisfy criteria B.

I think some people may be confusing the direct action with the direct object. I will have to defer to someone who has studied theology on this, but I believe the emphasis is on the act itself, not the object upon which the action is inflicted. According to my understanding, therefore, (D) in a proportionally grave circumstance] that © requires an inevitable evil effect to be permitted], it is inconsequential whether the (A) morally good or indifferent act] is (B) without a means of evil] performed on the object against which the evil occurs (in case iii, the baby) or performed on another object (in case i, the fallopian tube).

I am very intrigued by this. Let me add that if I was faced with this very difficult decision, I would choose i since there is evidence to suggest that the tube itself somehow contributed to the ectopic pregnancy in the first place. If after my logic was approved by a qualified person, I could somehow be assured the tube was not the problem, I would naturally choose iii because it is the medically superior solution with no moral ramifications.

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