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August 01, 2015

Comments

This summary, Amy, reminded me of a comedy sketch found in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. The sketch was called Live Organ Donation. And it was funny because it was just so absurd. They arrive on the doorstep of the donor, knock on the door and ask for the organs. He explains that he is still using them, but eventually he loses the argument and they harvest the organs. Absurd 35 years ago, but now sobering real and not funny in the least bit.

So what would you do with these organs?
Throw them away?

Ron-

I'd start by not killing the people who are using them.

Loaded language noted.

Abortion is a legal given.

So: Throw them away?

If there’s a beneficial transaction to be had from the death of a human being, then you can’t be allowed to participate in that transaction if you’re the one bringing about that human being’s death.

Well, that seems slightly more constitutional than passing a bill specifically excluding "Planned Parenthood Federation of America, [...] any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics" from all Federal grants and programs. But it's still incredibly morally stupid. I'm a registered organ donor in my state, and if I were killed by a reckless driver, and he was terminally ill, and I was the only match for transplant, I would hate for my live-saving biomaterials to be withheld on some ridiculous notion that this might incentivize reckless driving. Equally ridiculous is the idea that a woman might be persuaded to have an abortion rather than a live birth For The Good Of Science™. Abortion providers aren't even allowed to discuss this prior to obtaining written informed consent for the abortion itself.

You're seriously arguing that it's preferable to throw Emmett into a medical waste incinerator, than to use him to save human lives. Think about that.

Phillip, you're making some mistakes in reasoning here. First, there's nothing unconstitutional about Congress deciding what they will and will not give money to based on their preferences and the preferences of the country (and particularly, on their moral judgments). That's what Congress does on a regular basis.

Second, even in your own (so-unprobable-as-to-be-impossible) scenario, that doesn't really fit what I'm describing, mainly because I don't think the drunk driver would have any say whatsoever as to whether or not he would get your organ. That would be a decision by the doctors, who wouldn't have that conflict of interest. The doctors wouldn't be negotiating with the drunk driver, and there's no guarantee the drunk driver would receive it. Also, intent obviously makes a difference here. The drunk driver randomly killed you; it wasn't purposeful.

However, if the law were indeed found to apply to that situation (and it would, if it were found that the drunk driver found out who you were and purposefully tracked you down to kill you and take your organ), if it ever happened (which would be beyond extremely unlikely), I would be happy to say that in that one instance that will probably happen once every 1,000 years or so, your organs should go to someone else rather than that man. (They won't be "withheld"; someone else will need them.) In fact, if such an impossibly "coincidental" thing happened, it would probably make sense for the police to suspect some purposeful design on the part of the drunk driver, such that the doctors should prefer a different recipient.

And it's not at all ridiculous to think that if organ transactions are financially benefitting (or in some other way benefitting) Planned Parenthood, that those transactions are increasing the influence of Planned Parenthood—in advertising, in political lobbying, in gaining customers, etc. This has a result of more people going to Planned Parenthood and getting abortions. Anything that builds up Planned Parenthood increases the number of abortions they do. It also incentivizes PP to push abortion on the women who come in for counsel. If the woman decides to keep the baby, PP loses not only the money from the abortion, but also the money from the organs (or the donation money from the research institutions, or lobbying support, or whatever). It's in PP's interest in every way to lead women to have abortions. This is an added incentive that will increase their efforts to obtain abortions (through advertising, etc.).

And finally, why are the only two options to throw him in an incinerator or to experiment on him? People die all the time and we treat their bodies respectfully.

One last thing: The government is not allowed to simply take the organs of criminals who receive the death penalty and give them to researchers, even though those organs would save lives. This is because the same problem would result. It would incentivize giving people the death penalty if the government that is sentencing people is the same government providing the benefit of organs to research institutions (who could then turn around and benefit the government). It's too ripe for abuse, so we don't do it. The same ethics should apply here.

Excellent article, Amy, and excellent responses to the comments. The Lord bless you for your articulate presentation.

First, there's nothing unconstitutional about Congress deciding what they will and will not give money to based on their preferences and the preferences of the country (and particularly, on their moral judgments).

But see ACORN v. United States, 618 F. 3d 125 (2d Cir. 2010), in which a similar "defunding" of ACORN was upheld only on the basis that there were non-punitive, non-James-O'Keefe-related reasons to exclude it from Federal funding (self-admitted financial mismanagement being primary among them). Also see United States v. Lovett, 328 U.S. 303 (1946), in which Congress could not specifically exclude an individual from Federal employment.

It's in PP's interest in every way to lead women to have abortions.

Actually, it is in PP's interest to perform as few abortions as possible, for two reasons. Firstly, as you probably know, one of their primary talking points is that they provide a wide variety of medical services, not just abortion. The more birth control, STD testing, pap smears, etc. they give out, instead of abortions, the better they look to the media and to the public. Secondly, PP provides all of its medical services, including abortion, at a loss. For example, Planned Parenthood of the Gulf Coast, which runs all clinics in TX and LA, received $9.8M in program service revenue, but spent $15.2M in program service expenses. (Source) This is why the organization solicits donations, and it is also, inter alia, what qualifies it for 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. So every abortion PP performs hurts, rather than helps, its bottom line.

By the way, this isn't true of all medical professionals/organizations. If you see a doctor who has a private practice, she makes money off of your every visit. Therefore, it is in her best interest for you to be sick/injured as often as possible. Yet, mirabile dictu, she tries to keep you healthy for some reason. Is your argument that PP doctors are wholly and intrinsically evil, and therefore not subject to the influence of medical ethics?

Planned Parenthood is not violating any laws, Ron. Their behavior is a legal given.

So what exactly are you asking?

So what would you do with these organs?
Throw them away?
Posted by: Ronh | August 02, 2015 at 08:05 AM

At the start of WWII, Hitler decided that disabled people were "useless" to society, and had 200,000 handicapped people put to death. The victims had no say in the matter. Looking back, I'm sure most people would call that an atrocity.

By accepting the widespread practice of taking human life in the womb, we are saying those lives are "useless" to society. Whether you call it a fetus or a baby or a specimen, abortion ends a human life. And those victims have no say in the matter. I hope our nation will soon see this for the atrocity that it is.

Here is an example of who is donating their organs to PP....sad...do not follow this link if you are easily disturbed.

Yes Ron, I would bury these little people with dignity and respect and sorrow. FULL STOP.

Clarity of thought in this lost world - worth reading...

http://www.robinofberkeley.com/2015/07/28/the-forgetting/

Amy, thanks for an excellent article. As more information comes to light, it is my humble opinion that those defending Planned Parenthood will ultimately find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Killers shouldn’t be allowed, by law, to compel their victim to donate their organs. It’s straight forward. The fact that people have to have this explained to them is sad.

If one is dead set on having organs go to use, leave them in the live, functioning human being's body and you’ll have that.

By the way, if it’s just a clump of cells, why not just crush the heart and liver too? Why the big deal about keeping them intact?

Maybe Philip and Ron H have some details on what constitutes a clump of cells and what doesn’t.

Ron H and Philip,

In your view, would you say that as long as you could pull live intact human beings out of the gas chambers, you might as well help some people with research (provided some good can come from that research, of course)? For example, you wouldn’t have proposed that you just dump all those bodies in a mass grave if you could harvest some stuff, correct? In your words, Ron, you wouldn't want to just, "throw them away," right?

On the other hand, perhaps you have the view that killers shouldn't compel their victims to donate their bodies to science or research?

Again, please excuse Godwin’s law here, but the mass death seems congruent – if there is another mass death / genocide example that you’d prefer, we could use your example.


"I would bury these little people with dignity and respect and sorrow."

So, when an embryo or zygote is miscarried, anti-abortionists have funerals and bury the remains? Haven't been to too many funerals like that...

Actually, it is in PP's interest to perform as few abortions as possible

Great! Then there shouldn't be any problem dropping their abortion services if they want to receive federal funds.

Even if it's the case that they lose money on each abortion (and I wasn't able to verify that just now), you don't think that doing abortions is a strong motivation for donations? Planned Parenthood had a $127 million profit in 2013. They're not losing money.

11% of the women who came to Planned Parenthood in the U.S. last year had an abortion there (just divide the number of abortions by the number of women served—I'm assuming the abortions are in the U.S., which is probably correct since Abby Johnson confirms this percentage in the link below). If it were in their interest to decrease this number, we'd see campaigns by them to decrease this. But strangely, they don't refer much to adoption or provide much prenatal support. 94% of all their pregnancy services go to abortion.

You can read more about those numbers here (and here), along with this quote from Abby Johnson:

As a Planned Parenthood clinic manager, I was directed to double the number of abortions our clinic performed in order to drive up revenue. In keeping, Planned Parenthood headquarters recently issued a directive mandating that all of its affiliates provide abortions by 2013.

None of this looks like it's in their "best interest" to perform as few abortions as possible.

RagTime, yes, people who miscarry sometimes bury their children. A close relative of mine had her baby cremated.

Here's an article on Parenting.com (the website for Parenting and BabyTalk Magazines—not religious magazines) about this.

I don't think people tend to invite others into this sort of thing (many times women who miscarry haven't even told people they're pregnant yet), so that could by why you haven't heard of it happening. Or maybe they know your view of the unborn, so they don't share this with you.

By the way, George Will was excellent on this issue Saturday:

Planned Parenthood Is Too Cowardly to Acknowledge Its Own Barbarity


In support of Amy's post about miscarriages: My wife and I lost two children to miscarriage since October of last year. Both died at 16 weeks. We had funeral services for both (private, mostly close family) and have headstones and burial plots for both. Not everyone does it that way, but we wanted to acknowledge their moral person-hood. We gave them names, Corban ("offering or sacrifice to God") and Samuel ("God has heard") and gave God thanks for the small amount of time He gave us with them. We held both in the palms of our hands when they were delivered. They weren't fetal rats, bats, or clumps of cells. They were fetal human beings; they were our children. They have three brothers here on earth, who pray every day and thank God for their two siblings waiting for them in heaven. If I believed the babies were clumps of cells, I would have comforted my grieving wife by reminding her of that fact (comforting huh?). Instead, we grieve the loss of two people together, also trusting in a future reunion with our little ones.

Ron's Question:

Abortion is a legal given, so what are we supposed to do with the organs of aborted fetuses? Throw them away?

My Answer:

If we're supposed to simply accept the legal 'givens', then there's nothing to ask here. Planned Parenthood has the legal right to do what they're doing...so there's nothing to throw away.

The only question here is whether we should accept the legal givens, and if not, what should we do instead.

OK, so I don't accept the legal given. What I think we should do instead is shut down all the human chop shops abortion clinics.

You, apparently, think we should keep on killing people and parting them out. (For the greater good of course.)

Here's a follow up question. Why stop with the organs that are salvageable for transplant after the abortion?

I mean the rest of the body is a rich source of protein and other nutrients. Why not make sausages? Or, at least, fertilizer? To feed the hungry of course?

If not that then what?

Throw it away?

At this point I would like to point out the irony of Ron's argument. This is something (I say something because I guess Ron does not think it is human) that had ORGANS. But even though it has organs it's not a human being. So since it's not a human being, we can do whatever we want with the ORGANS. So despite the fact that it has ORGANS...it's not human. Having organs in fact is not enough to prove that you are human. Only LOCATION proves you are human (or does it?). So we can chop it up. Heck, I guess since it's not human, we could make gatorade with the organs of the non-human being, must have some good nutrients in it.

And these organs are valuable for research, why exactly?

Oh yes, because they bear a remarkable similarity to my organs and your organs and Ron's organs.

Those that have no problem with this barbarism should explain why these organs are valuable at all - even if just for research.

I mean, what on earth could be valuable here?

@ RonH

"Loaded language noted."

What loaded language is that?

"Abortion is a legal given."

As Andrew Breitbrart used to say, so?

The government was okay with slaughtering Jews and other "undesirables" during WWII. Are you saying that was morally good because it was "legal"?

Anything to say on the murder and dismemberment of unborn children and the sale of their body parts?

Thank you for sharing your story, Jason. It's a horribly painful subject.

Planned Parenthood.

Chopping up babies and selling the parts.

They no longer merit the benefit of the doubt.

This is truly evil. These people are evil.

Nothing wrong with capitalism taking an opportunity to make money on body parts? Really?

RonH ...what is your point of view here?
Should we use these "choices" to harvest organs?
Is it, in your opinion, perfectly fine to have those who terminate these human beings in their fourth and fifth stage of development, also be the ones who harvest/distribute their parts to certain industries?
Thanks in advance for clarifying your position

Actually, it is in PP's interest to perform as few abortions as possible

Great! Then there shouldn't be any problem dropping their abortion services if they want to receive federal funds.

You really don't get the concept of a public charity, do you?

Oh, and, under the proposed bill, stopping abortion services wouldn't restore PP's funding. PP is ineligible for Federal money by virtue of being PP, not because they provide abortion services. Other, non-PP abortion providers are unaffected. That's what brings into question the bill's constitutionality.

11% of the women who came to Planned Parenthood in the U.S. last year had an abortion there

And the other 89% who were served by PP, but not with an abortion, received what, exactly? Were they "just browsing"? Why would PP want to serve these people, if it wouldn't help them KILL MOAR BABIES and MAKE MOAR MONEY, as Abby Johnson (A+ 100% reliable source, by the way) seems to indicate?

You don't think the government has requirements for the charities it will or will not support? Of course it does. And there's no constitutional requirement for the government to publicly fund charities that are morally objected to by half the population.

All the funding going to PP could be redirected to the numerous women's health centers that don't do abortions. The same public goal could be easily met with clinics that don't engage in any of the questionable activities of PP. If the goal is to fund women's health, then they can fund women's health.

And if it's women's health you care about, then nothing will be lost.

What did you think of the videos when you watched them?

You don't think the government has requirements for the charities it will or will not support? Of course it does.

Yep. And out of all possible requirements to impose, there are ones that are constitutional (must have an independent board of directors, must receive substantial public/government support) and ones that are plainly unconstitutional (must have an official stance against prostitution [Free Speech Clause]*, must not be a Christian organization [Free Speech Clause, Free Exercise Clause], must not be Planned Parenthood [Bill of Attainder Clause, Due Process Clause])

Excluding Planned Parenthood, specifically, by statute, from Federal programs for which it would be otherwise qualified, and on the basis of alleged crimes committed by the organization, is legislative usurpation of the role of the judiciary. Congress cannot find any private party** guilty of any crime, period. Neither can it act on that basis unless the crime is admitted or there is a conviction in a court of law.

* An actual case just a couple of years ago, Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc.

** Government officials are another story, due to Congress' impeachment power.

What did you think of the videos when you watched them?

I found them absolutely heinous. The clear violation of Calfornia's two-party consent law for audio/video recording, the forging of California driver's licenses, the signing of non-disclosure agreements with the intent to breach, the... Oh, that's not what you meant, was it. You meant the 11.9-week fet... er, Emmett. Well, he's definitely not viable, is he? Neither is he capable of emotion, thought, pain, desire, or anything else. I've used more complex and differentiated bio-matter as fishing bait before. And had about the same level of emotional involvement.

Well ...Philips statement shows the real issue here:
Compassion vs. the deprivation of human qualities, personality or spirit.
if u just refuse these human beings the "human being status", everything and all seems to be excusable. It worked for the pro choice slavery stand of the 19th century democratic party and it works for the same reasons for todays democratic party and their pro choice abortion on demand stand.
It worked for the national-socialists in Europe and their ethnic cleansings and it worked for American democrats and their ethnic segregation as well as their race purifying eugenics programs.
Until it's publicly recognized as what it really is, it will have not only full party support, but also the full support of the party's loyal followers.
There is, morally speaking, NO DIFFERENCE in the support of pro choice slavery in the 19th century and pro-choice abortion on demand for the entire length of pregnancy in the 21st.
Philips excuses here are morally identical to those of Douglas against Lincoln.
...and it's time for us to point that out ....every time

I'm thinking of offering my babysitting services online. I'm really quite good. I serve children healthy foods an snacks only. I play educational games with them. I read the great books to them in a way that they find quite engaging. They all learn to play the piano and the violin while in my care, and I teach them amazing math skills.

And I only kill 11% of them, and chop them up for their organs.

I am so very benign.

The Fallacy of Embryo / Personhood:


In the particular arena of this thread’s overall topic, the essential incoherency in which the Non-Theist must approach reality in general and humanity specifically eventually carries those willing to do the hard work of reasoning, of thinking, to the conspicuousness of that incoherency.


Letting the words of others do the work here, we find that the potentiality that is the embryo carries us past the Non-Theist’s conflations and confusions of terms. From the linked essay:


“What is potentiality or in principle capacity in general? How does it differ from (metaphysical) possibility? …….. A potentiality is not the same as a possibility. It is obviously not the same as an actualized possibility, but it is also not the same as an un-actualized possibility………. For example, a human embryo has the potentiality to develop, in the normal course of events, into a neonate. This potentiality is something actual in the embryo. It is not a mere or un-actualized possibility of the embryo. What is a mere possibility is the realization of the potentiality. Just as we must not confuse a disposition with its manifestation, we must not confuse a potentiality with its realization……”


In STR’s thread The Moral Prolife Case one can follow / focus on the conversation between just three commentators (WisdomLover, Brad B, and Ben) in a thread of medium length. It unpacks this theme of personhood vis-à-vis that which exists in the womb to a more distal degree and tracks (eventually) to Brad B’s comment near the end:


“....... is very helpful and I think it's also simple enough to be useful to anyone arguing a pro-life position who thinks they have to deal with some arbitrary personhood determination – they don’t. I would hope to see it developed further or strengthened if possible by people like……”


So then, Phillip, your brother was in an accident and part of his brain was damaged. He now, unfortunately, cannot feel any emotions. Other than that his fine, but he just can't feel.

But the next day I decide that since he can't feel emotion, he must not be a human being. I, the doctor, decide it would be in his interests to chop him to bits.

You wouldn't have any problems because he's not human any more, right?

JBerr,

Phillip (well, Non-Theists generally) equivocates / conflates between the brain dead adult and the womb because those means are the only means which "seemingly" get the Non-Theist "past" dealing with reasoning, with logic, as per my last comment.

There's no need for you to just grant the Non-Theists such assumptions / conflations.

You'd do better to make them earn it - by reasoning coherently through their claims.

Which they cant.

Excluding Planned Parenthood, specifically, by statute, from Federal programs for which it would be otherwise qualified, and on the basis of alleged crimes committed by the organization, is legislative usurpation of the role of the judiciary.

Oh, I get it now. You think they're defunding them on the basis of a suspected legal infraction. That's why you think it's unconstitutional. Yes, the videos suggest that something illegal took place (you don't haggle over prices if you have an actual cost, especially when you also admit you did nothing for the money), but they don't need illegality to defund them. Harvesting the body parts of the babies you just killed doesn't have to be illegal to be monstrous. They're defunding them because they're doing something monstrous, half the country or more thinks what they're doing is monstrous, and we shouldn't be publicly funding something like this that the people of our country strenuously morally object to—we shouldn't be publicly funding an organization that kills human beings. Here are 12 reasons to defund them.

There's already a ban on publicly funding abortion because of this. People winked at the money going to Planned Parenthood, saying that it wouldn't be used for abortions, but the millions going to Planned Parenthood is propping up (especially according to your words, since they lose money on every abortion) an abortion machine, no matter how much they say this. Obviously, getting a huge influx of money in one area frees up their money for other things—i.e., abortions. Funding the company funds abortions because money is fungible.

The videos, by stripping away the euphemisms, just gave the moral push people needed to take on the the political lobbying giant of Planned Parenthood and correct this. It shocked people out of complacency.

I say it again—if your goal is funding women's health, defunding PP and funding other clinics instead (who offer more services, by the way) will change nothing. This is only a problem if your goal is having the government subsidize abortions, which is already illegal.

I've used more complex and differentiated bio-matter as fishing bait before. And had about the same level of emotional involvement.

I pray that you're being over the top here for rhetorical effect, because otherwise, the inhumanity of that statement is actually frightening. From stories I've read written by current abortion doctors, many of them don't even react that way.

He is either being over the top or logically consistent....to a point. If he were to continue being logically consistent he would also admit no emotional attachment to hanging a toddler over a boat for gator bait with no regard for the bait.

As I am fond of repeating: it can be very dangerous to be in the presence of a good argument (a valid argument with true and obvious premises). If you are too attached to something contrary to the conclusion, the argument is liable to make you stupider.

You will either reject one of the valid inferences that lead to the hated conclusion, or you will deny one of the true and obvious premises. Either way you've willfully made yourself dumber.

It's utterly obvious that PP should not be parting out babies. But because admitting that leads to a conclusion contrary to an unrestricted right to kill unborn people, people in favor of the unrestricted right to kill unborn people, rather than give up that prejudice, bite the bullet and affirm the moral permissibly of chopping up babies for their organs.

I pray that you're being over the top here for rhetorical effect, because otherwise, the inhumanity of that statement is actually frightening.

A note and apology:

I made a particular comment as a response to Students For Life's view that the 11.9-week fetus seen in one of the videos should be considered a civil rights icon and be named after Emmett Till. Considering my remark in the context of my whole post, I think, makes this clear. However, I didn't realize until today that I posted that remark in the middle of a discussion about miscarriage and bereavement. In that context, my remark was incredibly rude and insensitive. I should have checked that, I didn't, and I am sincerely sorry.

scbrownlhrm, in the example, the brother in the accident is not brain dead. His brain was damaged so he cannot feel emotion, but the rest is fine.

JBerr,


Fully agree and your approach is a good one and also an important reminder.


The Non-Theist inevitably conflates and equivocates and fails to take ownership of his own incoherence as, say, Belgium finds a growing trend in depressed yet otherwise healthy 20-something year olds being granted the right to euthanasia. There is no point, no foci, no locus on that ontological chain of continuity which cannot be sacrificed vis-à-vis the philosophically incongruous, intellectually irrational, and ethically capricious bullet-biting of the Non-Theist in this particular arena.

When Phillip and Ron are asked, “What should an SS sergeant do with the body of a Jew?” it’s almost incomprehensible to think about research.

But why?

You have a dead body on your hands – shall you just, as Ron asks, “throw it away”?

Wisdom Lover talks correctly of “biting the bullet”. Those that see nothing wrong here have bitten the most stupid bullet. However, there’s usually no bullet to bite when talking about the Holocaust. You can say, “The research that was done was horrific” without fear of what that means for your current beliefs.

But now there is a bullet to bite. So again, I ask Phillip and Ron or anyone else reading this thread:

What should an SS sergeant do with the body of a Jew?

Phillip, even though I would have said the same in any context, I do truly appreciate your apology in this one. Thank you for that.

Where are the proponents of capitalism patting the Planed Parenthood on the back for their enterprising ambitions to make money? Is capitalism at odds with morality here? Why is no one willing to admit that the power behind the throne of abortion clinics is capitalism?

Why is no one willing to admit that the power behind the throne of abortion clinics is capitalism?

SteveK, that doesn't follow. The liberty of human beings to create and make choices in a free market isn't a "power" behind anything. Otherwise, authoritarianism and government control of markets (which is just a different kind of denial of human dignity) would be the answer to everything. But that kind of a loss of liberty can't be what what God desires (not least of which because it leads to scarcity and poverty—just look at Venezuela currently).

The power behind abortion is human sin and a disregard for human life. That's changed by a change in our hearts and values, not by authoritarian control of markets by the government (which would only increase the power that sinful people have over others).

And in this case, a huge power behind Planned Parenthood, is, in fact, the government with its massive amount of funding. So increasing the power and scope of government—the very thing propping up Planned Parenthood—can't be the answer here.

Again, the power is sin and false worldviews. The answer is a change in hearts and minds, along with an end to the public funding of atrocities.

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