Monday, November 07, 2005

CP vs SS: Rights of Fetuses

I don't follow Alberta politics and didn't really notice this proposed piece of legislation until I read it over at Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine [Rights for fetuses]. I might have been one of the ones that shrugged:
While most people might shrug and say "who cares" when people bring up the proposed piece of legislation. I think that this is a big issue for anyone who has any concerns regarding the issue of abortion, stem cell research, or a variety of other issues involving whether fetuses should be considered as persons and as such are granted various rights.

The suggestion that people have a right to sue for injuries received in utero is a very small step away from suggesting that fetuses have rights. Saying that fetuses have particular rights is only a hairbreadth away from the pro-life and anti-stem cell research positions.
As I understand it, the legislation is going to allow a child who was injured while in utero to sue for damages if their parent was at fault in an accident.

But, wouldn't it naturally follow then that the child could then sue for any damage while in utero, without much of a stretch?

For instance, my wife is currently 6 months pregnant. Part of her daily ritual is to take Materna, a multi-vitamin specifically geared for pregnant women. Now, if she failed to take this vitamin (which includes folic acid, said to be key in preventing Down syndrome), would she be intentionally causing harm or accidentally causing harm? Could our child sue us for that? I wouldn't think so, but it wouldn't take a huge leap to get there with this piece of legislation.

Wouldn't it be better for government to provide better funding for the disabled, instead of creating legislation that opens the door for more lawsuits? I think governments ultimately have a responsibility to financially support those with disabilities and with the help of their family (not in an institution).

The legislation would also cap the benefit at the maximum amount of the policy. Suppose the parent has no insurance or very limited coverage? What then? Are the parents SOL?

And what about the issue of abortion?

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