WT relies on Abortion Rights Precedent in DPA: Problem?

by Oroborus21 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • Oroborus21


    Don't know if anyone's ever brought this up before:

    So I was looking at my copy of the JW DPA (it is from 2001 and the Florida version) and I had never really sat down and read it through before since I never did the DPA thing (and in fact got in a "discussion" about my not doing it with an Elder one time).

    Well anyway on page three, paragraph 10 it begins: "This paragraph applies to pregnant women only" The paragraph lays out the legal precedents that establish that "the State may not override a pregnant woman's competent decisions, including refusal of recommended invasive medical procedures, to potentially save the life of a viable fetus" AND THEN goes onto discuss how the "State's interest in the potential life of a fetus is insufficient to override the mother's interest in preserving her own health."

    Citations follow including Planned Parenthood v. Casey and then comes the sentence that just blew my mind when I read it. It reads:

    "Thus, as a woman has the right to abort her pregnancy before viability, [Stenberg case citation], a woman necessarily has the lesser right to refuse blood transfusions before viability."


    Setting aside whether it is a legally solid assertion*, what the Society is saying IS: Since a Woman has a RIGHT to an abortion before viability (and that definitely kills the fetus/child), a woman likewise has the right to reject a blood transfusion that might only potentially result in the death of the fetus/child.)

    [*ASIDE: personally I find it somewhat dubious as the cases (and judges) were dealing a different set of interests and factual circumstances and while many may hold a woman's private interest to control their own body (and not being forced to carry an unwanted child to term) sacrosanct and reasonable, many might find it unreasonable for a person to object to a safe and well-established and generally beneficial medical treatment when the objection is based purely upon religious grounds.]

    Wow, I mean is it just me or this really a question of strange bedfellows? The Society and Pro-Abortion camps on the same side of an issue?

    Look as a lawyer I fully understand that the law is the law and precedent is precedent. If it favours YOUR POSITION, you use it.

    But ETHICALLY, I am just a little bit amazed (actually I am not) that the Society out of one side of the mouth can speak against abortion and out of the other side say that it provides a decisional foundation that is CORRECT when it comes to considering a woman's right to choose her medical procedures.

    Actually while I think that the Society is dead wrong on blood, I think that it is correct in the fundamental position that patients' should have the right to choose their medical treatment even to the detriment of themselves (and in this case an unborn child).

    But clearly the ETHICALLY CONSISTENT position is just that. To say a woman's right to choose an abortion is just that and a woman's right refuse blood is just as sovereign.

    Indeed, as an Organization that is supposed to be in essence the moral leader in the world, in my opinion, it would be the correct thing to do (if you did disagree with Abortion) to refuse to cite it as precedent. You would in fact denounce it as bad law and bad precedent, all full of error and immorality. And in fact, in many instances that is what the Society has done in general by denouncing abortion as it has done in its literature and from the platform.

    But then to turn around and cite that same precedent as moral and legal authority, all I can do again is shake my head and say "unbelievable."


    PS: Does anyone have a current DPA and is this paragraph still there? I am going to try and attach my scan of the doc here so you can see it for yourself.

  • DannyBloem

    hmm, as usually the society used the things that supports them and ignores all others.

    Just a question, maybe it shows my ignorance but what means a 'DPA'?


  • vitty

    A woman only has the "right" to abort upto a few weeks, its a completely different scenario at the time of birth surely.

    I have never had a DPA even while I was in the org, although I may consider getting one now.

  • Oroborus21

    Durable Power of Attorney, it goes by other names depending on the state. The Society's is officially called: "Health Care Advanced Directive and Designation of Surrogate" and it is a real hoot with the scriptura citations written right into the document.

    They began pushing these in combination with the "No Blood" (Advance Medical Directive Card) just before the turn of the century, but I can't say whether they still push them now or not as I have been out of touch slightly.

    Everyone should have a DPA, I thought the Terry Schiavo situation made that pretty clear recently. You never know what can happen.

    You should have a DPA for healthcare matters and also execute one for Property so that you can allow someone to make these important decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make them for yourself. Otherwise, someone else will make them for you and that is not always the best case.


  • DannyBloem

    thank you Eduardo.

    Here the society only gives the no blood cards. The law is a bit different here. I did not know the society published this in some other countries.


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