When is assembly complete? Clearly it is not full term, not in the 9 months sense, but maybe in a developmental sense. But even then, development (manufacturing) can continue after birth. Is “complete” the time when you can remove it from the process and it can finish on its own, like the roast that you remove from the oven, and it will finish baking as it rests. Certainly mothers and fathers of premies are parents and there is no disputing that. But what if you reach a point in the pregnancy, where it is common for premies to be born and then loose the pregnancy? Now am I a parent?
Friday, July 13, 2007
Am I a parent - Part 5
More engineer line of thinking. Pregnancy is like the manufacturing process of a human. Instructions are being carried out, parts are being built, and little by little the ball of cells starts to look like the finished product. Yes, I am exploring this from as many angles as I can come up with. So, when is a car, a car? Is a rolling chassis without an engine a car? Is a fully assembled engine that can be started a car if it does not rest on a frame or it is not surrounded by a body? When is the manufacturing process complete, or complete enough that the manufactured item can be considered to be what it is intended to be. Yes, I know we are talking about human beings, or life, and not an inanimate assembly of parts. But, what is life? Is it a beating heart? Is it breath? Is it autonomous thought? Is it mobility, freedom, the ability to carry out action? When does it begin, when does it end? All very tough questions. What about life support? Is that body that can't pump its own blood or inhale its own oxygen still alive? Is limited brain activity or vegetative state thought of or classified differently if it is occurring in an adult as opposed to a work in progress? Is a pregnant woman analogous to a life support machine to the developing human? Does it make a difference if the rate of change in health is positive vs. negative? Yes, I think this should matter if anything matters. There is a clear difference between a healthy developing or developed human and the terminally injured or ill human. One's all potential, and the other has little to none. Yet, to rank and stratify life doesn't feel right either. Sure there is triage, and "Women and children first", but that doesn't apply to this argument.
Posted by Rich at 11:28 PM