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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    Sorry, i don't understand? Santa is God, isn't he?:confused:
    Fo sho!!! lol I have totally hijacked my own thread with meaningless anti-religion rudeness, oops.
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    *Sigh* Saint Nicholas.
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    Some parents can cope with raising a child with severe disabilities and some cant so I think that people in this situation should be able to choose whether or not they have the child. I dont agree with forcing these mothers into having abortions or denying them abortions.
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    No, you're confusing instinct with reflexes. Schiavo, as you've said, was in a PVS so that's not a valid comparison with Liam or people like him. He has some cognititive ability, it's just limited. If you really want me to explain the difference between instinct and reflexes I'm going to have to go and look it up because the guy who lectured me on that wasn't brilliant and I don't think you'll find his explanation very comprehensive.
    Thanks for the offer of looking up the difference between instinct and reflexes. I'll wait until you get back to me before we go any further with Terri Schiavo.
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    (Original post by TML)
    *Sigh* Saint Nicholas.
    Now, that man does not look very much like Santa or God so somebody here is lying. I think it's Cottonmouth myself...
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    (Original post by yawn)
    Oh dear, Oswy. In your excitement of latching onto Sausage's testimony, you overlooked the testimony of Janice.

    How would you respond to her post?

    And would you even consider that your reaction and solution to those who are disabled is dogmatic itself, particularly since you have not stated that you have experience in this area?
    As Jennybean noted (thanks Jennybean!) I didn't actually ignore Janice's testimony. I have no doubt that there are many happy stories of severely disabled people obtaining some genuine quality of life in families that can cope and have a (relatively) happy view about the child's circumstances. I think it's great for Janice's family that their situation seems a positive one, despite the obvious difficulties. But there are also some very, very unhappy stories too, like Sausage's. We shouldn't mix the two situations up as if all 'severe disability' has the same quality-of-life meaning; it will depend on individual circumstances, in particular the ways in which their disabilities affect them. And, just as the positive stories shouldn't be used as a blanket representation of the subject, nor should the negative stories; it's cases by case, as has been said.

    As I'm sure you're aware I'm not one of those people who thinks a foetus is a sacred entity, so for me I think it makes sense for foetuses to be aborted where the pregnant woman has indications that the child's life has a fair chance of being one of severe physical and/or mental impairment and this is a circumstance she wants neither for herself nor the would-be child. Obviously there will be some who are determined to have their baby no matter what, and that's fair enough, but I don't think there should be any stigma, let alone legal sanction, for women who recognise that life on a technical level doesn't automatically mean any actual quality for that life, and can in fact mean something very grim for all concerned.

    I don't want to talk too much about what experience I have as it is in a former vocational context, not a family one. But I'm satisfied that I know enough to see Sausage's position with 100% empathy.
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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    But Oswy, duuuh. They must have sinned like, really bad in their past life, and so deserve to suffer now. Plus, everything will be better when they can sit on God's knee and stroke his beard when they die.
    I forgot about the beard thing. I know I'm slightly off-topic but wasn't there some past England football manager who was into that whole "disabled people are past sinners" stuff?
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    (Original post by Kyle_S-C)
    In responding to Janice, you acknowledge that severe disability is not a cause which will necessarily lead to a poor quality of life. I would rather not go into details for the sake of privacy, but suffice it to say that both of my parents are relatively severely disabled as a result of accidents, though they manage to maintain autonomy most of the time. My mother also works with people with learning difficulties, varying degrees of autism and conditions such as cerebral palsy as an advocate and facilitator. Without adequate care, these people would have a rather poor quality of life, but through attending the groups in which they are involved, they have acquired friends, enjoy themselves and also learn new skills. As an agnostic who cares little about the concept of God, I find the idea of selective abortion of babies, based upon some ill-informed perspective of their quality of life, flawed.
    Real life is messy - though I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that. There are, in my view, no perfect options. My starting point is that a foetus is not a child, let alone a sacred entity, it's a potential child. On this basis I think it's reasonable for the would-be mothers to have some power over whether or not that potential becomes real. I'm not looking to trivialise abortion here, I'm sure women who have abortions, for whatever reasons, don't find it a trivial experience (and I'm lucky that I'm a man, we have it easy). I'm suggesting that in an imperfect world where our first duty might be to reason and compassion, the avoidance of what could be decades of distress and suffering is an option we should have, even if it is a flawed option. By all means go through with your own pregancies, no matter what, but I'm not of the view that you should be able to coerce a pregnancy of another because of your sensibilities, no matter that you won't be looking after that other's baby anyway, disabled or otherwise.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    (thanks Jennybean!)
    That's no problem at all, I think if you're going to respond to a post the least you can do is have the decency to read it properly.

    Yawn, here is a very basic explanation of the difference between instinct and reflexes. Obtaining this information took me literally minutes of sifting through my second term's work so you'd better be bloody grateful.

    Instinct is a tendency to act in a certain way, usually characteristic to each species, it's like an inherent behavioural pattern that the majority of that species will conform to. In humans, an instinctive response is generally an emotional reaction, because we have conscious thought. Instincts generally serve the purpose of triggering a cascade of secondary responses, and this will usually result in some kind of action from the organism. For instance, when Liam has an experience he is unfamiliar with (usually because he cannot store sufficient memories to even be able to recognise a situation he has been in before), his instinctive response is to feel fear. Fear would stimulate his sympathetic nervous system, and catecholamines would be synthesised, including adrenaline and noradrenaline, which would increase bloodflow to his skeletal muscles and increase his heart rate, which would enable him to move away from the source of his fear were he able bodied. Vocalisations are also a common response to fear, hence he cries out. To respond to fear, there has to be some degree of emotional awareness. Terry Schiavo could not have displayed the outward signs of fear.

    Reflexes are involuntary motor responses of the nervous system to a stimulus. Conscious sensation may accompany or follow a reflex, but the majority of important reflexes occur without awareness of them. FYI the only evidence we have that Schiavo did indeed respond in ways such as smiling and laughing is her parents' word, but for argument's sake I will just accept that it was true. I know it seems like laughing and smiling could not be executed without conscious thought but consider those individuals who are ticklish. If somebody tickles them, the automatic reaction is to smile and laugh - they don't have to think about it, and they can't help it. This is a good example of a more complicated reflex than the traditional patellar bashing to produce a kick, but it's still a reflex.

    So you see that while they are both primal reactions they are quite different things. Additionally now that I've thought about it, Liam has regular checkups so his doctors must be fairly confident he is reacting with some conscious awareness or we would have been told about it at riding for the disabled.
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    So everyone's talking about "who are you to say if a baby's life is worth living blah blah," but what about the baby's poor parents who have to sacrifice the rest of their lives in order to care for someone who will never learn to talk, walk, etc.?

    I would probably kill myself if I had to spend the next fifty years of my life changing a vegetable's diapers.
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    (Original post by more adventurous)
    So everyone's talking about "who are you to say if a baby's life is worth living blah blah," but what about the baby's poor parents who have to sacrifice the rest of their lives in order to care for someone who will never learn to talk, walk, etc.?

    I would probably kill myself if I had to spend the next fifty years of my life changing a vegetable's diapers.
    If that turns out to be your own child, I am sure you will feel differently.

    As for the parents, has it not occured to you that they choose to have a child? Having a child born with a genetic disability is no different from children who acquire it because of birthing complications or accidents.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    As Jennybean noted (thanks Jennybean!) I didn't actually ignore Janice's testimony.
    I saw that you made passing reference to it on your specific reply to Sausage...I asked what you would say to Janice as you hadn't said anything to her in the attentive manner you did to Sausage.

    I just thought that rather odd...since I had addressed both of their testimonies, even though they had totally opposed views resulting from their own close experience with siblings.

    That's all.

    (Original post by Jennybean)
    That's no problem at all, I think if you're going to respond to a post the least you can do is have the decency to read it properly.
    :rolleyes:
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    Obtaining this information took me literally minutes of sifting through my second term's work so you'd better be bloody grateful.
    I feel very privileged, Jenny that you would spend much of your time getting the information for me...and I am obsequiously grateful!

    I'll respond in detail when I have more time, and after I've compared it with other sources.

    Thanks again.
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    (Original post by more adventurous)
    So everyone's talking about "who are you to say if a baby's life is worth living blah blah," but what about the baby's poor parents who have to sacrifice the rest of their lives in order to care for someone who will never learn to talk, walk, etc.?

    I would probably kill myself if I had to spend the next fifty years of my life changing a vegetable's diapers.
    Parents generally love their children more than they love themselves, and do not consider that everything they have to do for them is a sacrifice.

    In fact, the parents I know who are caring for their disabled child say they receive much more back than they give.

    And David Cameron doesn't appear to have too many problems looking after his disabled son. Actually, it would be interesting to see what his views on aborting the disabled are. :confused:

    But as it's been said so many times on this thread, we can only make subjective judgements about how we think we would feel until the time we are in that situation.
 
 
 
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