Sandor on the Respect of Life and Death

http://magyarnarancs.hu/tudomany/prof-dr-balla-gyorgy-ujszulottgyogyasz-prof-dr-fulesdi-bela-intenziv-terapias-szakember-a-de-oec-elnoke-es-dr-torok-olga-szulesz-egyetemi-docens-89731 - Hungarian news portal magyarnarancs.hu reports: The child who was delivered in good health by cesarean section by the doctors of the University of Debrecen – three months after the mother suffered brain death during her pregnancy – will soon reach one year of age. The doctors maintained certain vital functions of the dead mother, thanks to which not only her child could survive, but even her organs remained suitable for transplantation.

Such a case raises difficult questions from an ethical and legal point of view, Judit Sandor, the director of CEU’s Center for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine told journalists. These issues are centered around the human dignity and the private and reproductive rights of the former patients and their family, funerary rights, the freedom of self-determination, and the protection of the fetus’s life. A distinction should be made between the artificial maintenance of the pregnancy of a braindead person and the situation in which the pregnant mother has a terminal illness (her condition deteriorates despite all medical treatment, the progression of the illness is irreversible and demands the life of the patient – ed.), but she is still capable of making a decision and there is relatively little time left from the pregnancy. If the mother is capable of making a decision, she will decide, and if she is no state to do that anymore, her relatives “as proxy decision-makers” make a resolution representing her will, the bioethics expert explained.

The article is also published by Hungarian liberal weekly Magyar Narancs (“Eletem legszebb tortenete”).