Two similar stories concerning pregnant clinically dead women have been reported. The first one is about a woman who was kept on life support and she finally gave birth to her child after some weeks because her family did not wish to switch off the life support machines. The second case involves the opposite: the woman’s parents intend to have the life support system turned off.
Life in itself constitutes miracles upon miracles. Just the very fact that we grow from a microscopic scale to a tangible baby out-of-the-womb is awe-inspiring. The life that comes with pain, the latter, in fact, being a necessity for life to see light, suddenly brings so much joy in the lives of families. Punctuated by suffering, happiness and sacrifice, our generations are perpetuated through the womb – nothing short of a miracle. Some events, though, go beyond the daily extraordinary occurrences we are used to witness. The Daily Mail has recently reported such a story. Back in October, a woman who was declared clinically dead was made to give birth to her child who turned out to be healthy.
The young woman was pregnant for 23 weeks when she had a brain hemorrhage. She was brought to the hospital but the doctors were unable to save her from her fate: she was declared clinically dead. You would think that the baby also did not survive, given that the life of a foetus is intricately linked to that of the mother’s. However, in this case, the baby was miraculously protected. The family of the woman requested the medical personnel to keep her alive on life support – just long enough for the baby to be born. Hence, her breathing and blood flow were kept in check.
Nine weeks later, after the sad turn of events for the mother, the child was born: a healthy 1.8 kg little boy.
This story is a powerfully emotional one, and there is more to it. The doctors decided to keep the woman alive at the request of the family. The issue is however much more controversial. What if the family had wanted otherwise?
Another similar story was also reported whereby the family of a young pregnant woman found to be clinically dead do not want to keep her alive using life support. Her parents affirmed that this would not be in line with their own personal wishes – they rather want for the life support of the woman to be turned off. This would inevitably lead to the death of both mother and son.
What is trickier here is the set of laws relating to abortion in the country, Ireland. Life support can be switched off, but the abortion laws are bound by strict limits: abortion is legal, but only for cases where the mother herself is in danger, or if the foetus displays dangerous abnormalities. Therefore, in this particular case, the doctors have to save the child at all costs since the issue of life support has been intertwined with that of abortion. The parents of the daughters do not intend to remain silent over this though: they wish to have legal actions taken to turn off the life support.