Saturday, April 15, 2006

Abortions, Fetuses & Pain

A pro-abortion advocate reveals that he has "examined the research" and come to the conclusion that babies "do not feel pain until after birth".

First, it never ceases to amaze me (and it should by now) to what lengths doctors and determined people will go to establish that a fetus is simply a lump until it is birthed.

Second, this line of reasoning is stupid and intellectually empty on top of being politically motivated.

Let's assume for a moment, that an adult endured a car accident that affected the respiratory center of the brain, thus requiring artificial oxygen support (intubation). Suppose he shows brain activity, but rudimentary brain activity--not the complex activity one might see if he were solving a math problem, say. This man cannot talk, or use any expressive language (fingers, blinking, etc.) to communicate. Should we assume that this man can feel no pain and give him no anesthesia during surgery?

Here is some important information for everyone to know about the neural pathways and pain: the evidence is hardly absolute about how mature ADULTS moderate pain. The research is extraordinarily dicey in children and infants and fetuses. Do you know why? Because we cannot induce pain without medication to do research, that's why. That would be called torture!

In fact, some of the best pain research comes to modern times from, of all heinous places, Hitler's regime. His minions had no ethical compunction about causing pain to their victims (test subjects) and took meticulous notes, too.

The first rule of medicine is: DO NO HARM.

No where in medicine, except abortion and euthanasia, does the notion of inducing pain to "see what happens" enter. So all research is indirect. That is, cortisol levels are measured during procedures. Or, brain scans reveal this or that active area. With a child, too, (under the age of five, really) they cannot say, on a scale how bad they feel. Does that mean that they cannot feel pain? Of course not! They simply lack the expressive language to adequately label their feelings, but that does not mean that they do not feel: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust (ever see a baby eat a lemon?) or pain. Puhleeeze!

Now, assumptions about pain have been made all over in medicine. Wrong assumptions. For example, a person in severe, horrible, excruciating low back pain can receive a spinal block for pain--an injection of cortisone or morphine--to block the pain, but the pain will return. At one time, and some still do this, the actual nerve thought to be involved is severed. But guess what? Six months later the pain returns. Why? NO ONE KNOWS.

That's right. You read that right. No one knows why pain returns. In fact, people desperate to be out of pain have had nerves cut almost at the root and the pain returns!

Pain is one of the most complex and least understood human manifestations. It's subjective--each person feels differently. It's often unrelated to concrete evidence. For example people with huge disc bulges can feel almost no pain while someone else with a teeny tiny bulge can't move.

All that I've been able to conclude "after reviewing the literature" (what a bunch of BS--what literature, how old and who did it? answer those questions and I'll tell you the "researcher's" bias and they ALL HAVE ONE) is that pain is extraordinarily important for human survival. We must have pain to reveal problems that must be corrected. Pain helps us preserve life--avoid jumping off cliffs, cutting off our fingers, holding onto hot pans and washing our hands in boiling water for fun, just for starters.

All this is to say that an honest scientist can only say for sure "we're not sure" about a fetus's pain discrimination. But if we say that, we must error on the side of caution, musn't we? But that's just it, Dr. Derbyshire doesn't want to error on the side of caution because of "increase risk and expense". He wants a fetus to not feel pain. He wants that very badly. So do a lot of other doctors and so do the millions of women, and the men who impregnate them, want this to be true. But wanting something to be true, does not make it true.

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