Personhood
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11-02-2014, 07:50 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2014 07:54 AM by BeccaBoo.)
RE: Personhood
(10-02-2014 09:38 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  
(10-02-2014 09:31 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  You usually are IMO lol, but maybe I am overly sensitive. Umm...I don't know about this. I don't understand how the mother is being selfish. What should she do have her son euthanized?

All I could think for the whole video was this woman's mother is white and yet she looks Hispanic. And her children also look Hispanic and it makes me jealous lol.

My question is can you be a "person" without a brain?

He has a brain stem. There is a form of function and sentience carried out by the subcortical structures of the brain of which the brain stem is a member.
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11-02-2014, 09:41 AM
RE: Personhood
I won't even watch the video, cause that ish makes me sad. Yeah yeah, "real life sucks" and all, but whatever. But there is no decent line of thought that I know of that takes the personhood away from a living human being that was born in this world. Whether or not the brain is fully developed or just a stem, the child was born and is a person.

Maybe if the kid had spliced DNA with some other animals or something crazy like that would the child not be considered a "person". Even then, I don't know.

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11-02-2014, 03:09 PM
RE: Personhood
(11-02-2014 09:41 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  Whether or not the brain is fully developed or just a stem, the child was born and is a person.

per·son
ˈpərsən
noun
1.
a human being regarded as an individual.

Brain or no brain, it's still a person. It's (speaking generally, not just this baby in particular) an individual.

If a baby is born stillborn, do you take it's personhood away because it didn't really "live"?

No.

If a baby is born stillborn, it was still a baby. It was/is still a person.
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12-02-2014, 03:26 AM
RE: Personhood
(10-02-2014 09:04 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  So my mother got mad at me for referring to this
as an "it".

The infant is--as far as I know--normally sexually developed and is genotypically and phenotypically male so you should refer to him as he. Even dead humans are referred to by the sex/gender they had before they died.

Quote: She seems to think that once you're born you're automatically a person.

Many people think that you are person even before birth. There is no universally agreed upon conception of personhood. Even amongst atheists there are those that believe personhood occurs at conception. We can refer to de jure conceptions of personhood by referring to statutes and case law but even these are contested.

Quote:And apparently I should be more sympathetic have a congenital cephalic disorder (hydrocephalus) of my own.

That may be a partial explanation of your strange posts. In another thread you said you had BPD but you didn't clarify whether you meant Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder.

Quote: but I told her that it doesn't have a brain therefore it doesn't think or feel, and so it's not a person.

Setting that aside for a moment, the infant is male so you should be referring to him as he just as you would of deceased males.

Being anencephalus he doesn't have a brain and only has a brainstem so you are correct that he can neither think or experience emotions. However he can experience pain and tactile sensations.

So is he a person given these limitations? This isn't the same question as asking if he is an organism of the species Homo sapiens (as some of the posters in this thread appear to think). Whether he is a person depends obviously on how you conceive of personhood. You have asserted that personhood requires a functioning brain but you haven't argued a case for that concept of personhood.

Some bioethicists contend that a full brain is not required to constitute personhood and that only so much of a nervous system that is required for the human to have interests is sufficient to provide personhood. The infant in question clearly does have interests: he can experience pain and discomfort, he wants food and water, he wants a comfortable room temperature and he would also want to be held. His brainstem is sufficient to give him those basic interests.

Interests at least appears to be a good candidate for personhood. I haven't given the matter a great deal of thought so I am not entirely confident about it.

Quote: I also told her the woman that gave birth to it was selfish because all that time and medicine should have gone to actual children. Cases like this is why they shouldn't restrict the donor access of anecephalic "infants". People could have used those organs, and that medicine.

This is an exceptional case so I wouldn't use it as a basis for thinking about these sorts of issues. Consider:

Approximately 50% of anencephalic infants in continuing pregnancies are stillborn while the remainder die within the first 48 hours of life...Aggressive treatment, such as intubation, resuscitation, and artificial ventilation of the affected infant is not warranted because of the dismal prognosis. In the past, anencephalic infants have served in a number of cases as organ donors but this practice has largely been abandoned in recent years. Difficulties in defining brain death in these infants and the generally poor quality of the organs by the time they were harvested have been the major obstacles to successful donation.

(from Kumar and Burton (2008) Congenital Malformations: Evidence-Based Evaluation and Management, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp.51-2)


Quote:Is being "alive" enough to establish the title person?

Probably not.

I am not from the USA so I had to look up the US legal criteria for biological death. According to the Uniform Brain Death Act "irreversible cessation of all functioning of the brain, including the brain stem" can serve as a criterion for death (and hence the cessation of personhood). So according to (proposed?) US law the infant is a person by virtue of the function of his brainstem. This is consistent with the interests conception of personhood that I mentioned earlier.

Quote:Am I being unnecessarily harsh?

You are confused and ignorant. Not much thought appears to go into anything that you post and you don't appear to have any interest in what other people think.
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12-02-2014, 03:44 AM
RE: Personhood
(10-02-2014 09:38 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  My question is can you be a "person" without a brain?

Drich seems to make it work. Consider


Back on topic:
I don't feel the child is any less a person.

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12-02-2014, 03:53 AM
RE: Personhood
(11-02-2014 09:41 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  But there is no decent line of thought that I know of that takes the personhood away from a living human being that was born in this world. Whether or not the brain is fully developed or just a stem, the child was born and is a person.

I don't think you understand the concept of personhood.

To say that a given instance of Homo sapiens sapiens is not a person is not the same as to say that it is not a member of the species H. s. sapiens. Human corpses are members of the species H. s. sapiens but they are not persons. Similarly the consenus view of the medical community in the USA is that a human without a functioning brain and brainstem is not a person[1] by virtue of them being biologically dead.

It is possible to keep alive a human that lacks a functioning brain and brainstem using a heart-lung machine. Contrary to your naive and sanctimonious posturing most of the medical community does not deem such humans to be alive and to have personhood; and many--perhaps most--bioethicists agree with them. This doesn't mean that they are saying that an infant that lacks both brain and brainstem and is alive only because of a heart-lung machine is not a member of the species H. s. sapiens.

Quote:Maybe if the kid had spliced DNA with some other animals or something crazy like that would the child not be considered a "person". Even then, I don't know.

This just shows that you think that debate about personhood is a debate about whether an organism belongs to a given species. I am honestly aghast at your ignorance and that you can be so ignorant about a matter and also so opinionated. China is going to kick Americas ass.
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12-02-2014, 05:17 AM
RE: Personhood
(12-02-2014 03:53 AM)Chippy Wrote:  
(11-02-2014 09:41 AM)Adrianime Wrote:  But there is no decent line of thought that I know of that takes the personhood away from a living human being that was born in this world. Whether or not the brain is fully developed or just a stem, the child was born and is a person.

I don't think you understand the concept of personhood.

To say that a given instance of Homo sapiens sapiens is not a person is not the same as to say that it is not a member of the species H. s. sapiens. Human corpses are members of the species H. s. sapiens but they are not persons. Similarly the consenus view of the medical community in the USA is that a human without a functioning brain and brainstem is not a person[1] by virtue of them being biologically dead.

It is possible to keep alive a human that lacks a functioning brain and brainstem using a heart-lung machine. Contrary to your naive and sanctimonious posturing most of the medical community does not deem such humans to be alive and to have personhood; and many--perhaps most--bioethicists agree with them. This doesn't mean that they are saying that an infant that lacks both brain and brainstem and is alive only because of a heart-lung machine is not a member of the species H. s. sapiens.

The problem with this, Chippy, is that you are talking about a dead person. Adrian specified being alive as a criteria for being a person. Where I live someone who is brain dead is considered legally dead and is issued a death certificate.
IMO any alive human individual who has been born is a person, but that's just my opinion.

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12-02-2014, 05:19 AM
RE: Personhood
(10-02-2014 09:04 AM)BrokenQuill92 Wrote:  So my mother got mad at me for referring to this






as an "it". She seems to think that once you're born you're automatically a person. And apparently I should be more sympathetic have a congenital cephalic disorder (hydrocephalus) of my own. but I told her that it doesn't have a brain therefore it doesn't think or feel, and so it's not a person. I also told her the woman that gave birth to it was selfish because all that time and medicine should have gone to actual children. Cases like this is why they shouldn't restrict the donor access of anecephalic "infants". People could have used those organs, and that medicine. What do you guys think? Is being "alive" enough to establish the title person? Am I being unnecessarily harsh?

Dictionary.com Wrote:per·son [pur-suhn]
noun
1.
a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2.
a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3.
Sociology . an individual human being, especially with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4.
Philosophy . a self-conscious or rational being.
5.
the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.

If you accept definitions 1. and 2. than yes; functional brain or not, it (no idea of the gender, can't watch the video) is still a person by virtue of it being a human.

4. however might be a bit difficult; I do not know the extent at which the child lacks brain as you so put it; it must have something of a brain otherwise it would simply not be alive, but my lack of knowledge prevents me from saying if it is able to reason or if it is conscious of its own existence.

3. and 5. present challenges: They both refer to things which explicitly require a even slightly functional brain (personality and social relationships), but they also both refer to the fact of being human (An individual being, the actual self).

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12-02-2014, 06:21 AM
RE: Personhood
It seems that personhood is a bit complex in definition.

I had the privilege to work with multiple impaired kids a few years ago, in a classroom setting. Some of the children could only feel body sensations, sensations that may be interpreted by the brain as pleasure or pain, sometimes both even though the messages were confused.

None of these kids would survive without intense medical intervention. As to that , for some, I had my own sense of how far medicine should go.

Nevertheless, I never saw any two children alike in their most basic reaction to stimulus. I saw this as a shadow of personhood, maybe.

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12-02-2014, 07:02 AM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2014 08:29 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Personhood
(11-02-2014 07:50 AM)BeccaBoo Wrote:  He has a brain stem. There is a form of function and sentience carried out by the subcortical structures of the brain of which the brain stem is a member.

There is no "sentience" located in the brain stem. "Reflexes" are located there, (also called "involuntary" responses). Cognition occurs in the neocortex, which they lack.
http://science.education.nih.gov/supplem...esson3.htm
Anencephalics probably do not feel pain, and if they do, it is not "experienced" in the same way infants with an intact neocortex experience pain, as they have no memories, and do not "process" anything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neocortex

Edit : In medical circles, this "child" would never be referred to as an "it".
When "something" is delivered or removed that is not identifiable, (or looks like something that is very "uncommon") it's called "(the) products of conception", (by OB-GYN professionals).

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