Sunday, January 5, 2014


Death has become very complicated.  There are two cases in the news about brain death.  One, a child declared dead in the hospital, whose family wants her kept "alive" on a ventilator.  The other, a pregnant woman declared dead in the hospital whose husband wants her ventilator turned off.  State law may protect the unborn child, requiring that the woman's body be sustained 26 more weeks so the child may be delivered at term.  Here is a link to a recent article, written for a lay audience, that covers some of the basics of brain death.

I am thinking about the pregnancy.  I wonder what the remaining term might be like for the unborn child.  More than half the gestation carried out in motionless silence.  No back and forth as mother walks.  No music as she sings.  No caress.  No babble from excited 14 month old brother.  Nothing but the constant hum of machines.  Nature and nurture mingle in the womb.  Not for this babe.

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