My dear friend and mentor called me today before I headed out to work. She wanted to clarify some "legal points" of the Washington State commitment laws and ask me if I had any jurisdiction in California? The conversation went something like this:
ME: "Hey, what's up?"
F/M: "So, can you go down to California to commit that woman that just gave birth to octuplets? She already has SIX kids at home, for gawd's sake!!"
ME: (After nearly choking on my own saliva) "What? What are you talking about?"
F/M: "That woman in California! The one that had the fertility in vitro done and now she's got FOURTEEN children!! That ought to be a crime and if not, SHE ought to be commitable! Can't you go down there and DO something?!?"
My friend/mentor was talking about THIS story...and she seemed quite agitated about the matter.
I calmly explained to her my "jurisdiction" only covered Washington State boundaries and I was also only designated in my particular county, and...STOOPIDITY was not a commitable offense! I even doubted that California's less strict 50/51 mental health law on commitments would consider STOOPIDITY as a mental disorder...no matter how STOOPID a person's behavior might seem.
I went on to explain that, perhaps the MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT that encouraged such STOOPID behavior and allowed EIGHT in vitro fertilized embryos to be implanted in a young woman who already didn't know enough to stop having children after the SIXTH one (which are all different ages, indicating she also doesn't understand what CAUSES babies in the first place), should be subject to punishment under capital crime laws. I mean, seriously...what physician in their right mind would ENCOURAGE such behavior? What doctor taking the Hippocratic Oath would think this medically was a "good" thing??
I just don't understand. We fight to get stem cell research in this country for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease and this is opposed by a religious "right" movement because this type of research is somehow seen as *tampering* with their "God's" laws...yet, it's perfectly OK to suck unfertilized ovum/eggs out of a woman's ovaries, fertilize them in a test tube, then stick them back into her uterus with a willy-nilly hit or miss chance one or more of them will become a viable fetus. Then, when the woman happens to carry multiple fetus' from this scientific experiment, risking not only the babies lives, but her own, suddenly we're back to some twisted sense of Pro-Life mentality? And let's not forget to take into account the GOVERNMENT (aka, you and I via taxes) will be charged with paying off the exorbitant amount of medical bills that will result in keeping 1 -2 pound babies alive for several weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit...and we'll probably have to FEED them as well for many years to come, because it is doubtful any single parent of 14 children (even IF living with her parents) will be able to afford food for such a brood. Then, if or when one of these tiny gems becomes an adult and commits a crime that IS punishable as a capital offense, this same religious "right" movement will rally behind a death penalty...I just can't figure out which end of the spectrum these folks believe is "pro life" in these matters? And, I just don't understand.
But I DO think the doctors who began this entire cycle in the above mentioned case ought to be subject to reprimand or the severity of capital punishment...or, if nothing else, committed under California State law...either outcome, I'm good with it. Because STOOPIDITY should NOT go unpunished...