Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

High Court conceives of life after death
Jewish World Review ^ | 3/20/2012 | Dana Milbank

Posted on 03/20/2012 7:55:38 AM PDT by Former Fetus

Next week, the Supreme Court will begin deciding whether President Obama’s health-care reforms live or die. But if you think that’s ambitious, consider what the modest justices were debating on Monday: what Americans are allowed to do AFTER they die.

Specifically, the question before the court was whether a dead man can help conceive children.

This odd point of law came before the court after a woman, Karen Capato, gave birth to twins 18 months after her husband died of cancer. She had used sperm he deposited when he was alive, and she was seeking his Social Security survivor benefits for the kids.

The Constitution is silent on the question of posthumous conception, in large part because people back then did not sire children after death. In addition, the relevant Social Security law, written in 1939, does not get into questions of whether a surviving “child” includes one who was fertilized in vitro. In other words, the justices pretty much had to wing it.

(Excerpt) Read more at jewishworldreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deadparent; socialsecurity; supremecourt
Light-humored approach to a very serious question: is it ok to do something just because we are able to do it?
1 posted on 03/20/2012 7:55:41 AM PDT by Former Fetus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

I’d say the baseline problem with the pro-benefits side is that by definition, a “survivor” is somebody who is STILL HERE when somebody else is not. These post-death IVFs are, by definition, NOT survivors because they weren’t in existence at the time of Daddy’s death.

A little like the basic fallacy of “natural” homosexuality: sex between two creatures who can never, under any set of circumstances, naturally conceive and bear a child together is, by its very definition, “unnatural”.

Of course, there I go using actual logic...sorry, my bad.


2 posted on 03/20/2012 8:00:06 AM PDT by jagusafr ("Write in Palin and prepare for war...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

Sorry, this is an easy one: The marriage contract is “to death do we part.” She had the children either as a single woman, in which case the children are bastards, or as a married woman, in which case the children are the children of her husband.

As for Mormons, whose marriages continue eternally, now that would be a bit tougher; but, just a bit. Since, by the non-establishment clause of the 1st Amendment, the Congress may not establish a church, Mormon belief about eternal marriage is not a federal concern.


3 posted on 03/20/2012 8:01:17 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.


4 posted on 03/20/2012 8:03:43 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1155 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Redmen4ever
Since, by the non-establishment clause of the 1st Amendment, the Congress may not establish a church,

Some religions are more equal than others, muslims are exempt from ObamaCare...

5 posted on 03/20/2012 8:05:29 AM PDT by null and void (Day 1155 of America's ObamaVacation from reality [Heroes aren't made, Frank, they're cornered...])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

quote “in large part because people back then did not sire children after death”

um... people sire children after death all the time.

It takes 9 months to have a child after conception, I don’t see how having a child several years later is much different than having one 9 months later.


6 posted on 03/20/2012 8:08:43 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus
Wow.... What a bunch of crap. In my opinion someone should make a case against this woman for intentionally attempting to defraud America's taxpayers. If she knew she couldn't afford to support the children she should have never been inseminated (my opinion) and... though I detest child protection services to the most basic levels of my conscience I believe CPS should take the children away and adopt them out to a nice couple that will not be sponging off the good, hard working people in this country that possess common sense and a genuine care for others. The children deserve to be brought up by productive members of society and not by some social parasite that will brainwash them into being just like her.

Again... My opinion

7 posted on 03/20/2012 8:12:37 AM PDT by Whats-wrong-with-the-truth (Romney... Just put the (D) behind your name and be done with it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

Sex with a corpse is a dead issue.


8 posted on 03/20/2012 8:13:35 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 (Dead is a downer???? Who knew?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Whats-wrong-with-the-truth
Survivor benefits have nothing to do with need. It's like a life insurance benefit built into your social security payment taken out of your paycheck for your spouse and children.

To me this is pretty cut and dry.

If a married man who qualifies for survivor benefits has sex with his wife, then gets into a car accident a hour later. And 9 months later that wife gives birth to a child from that... would that child qualify for survivor benefits?

I assume the answer to that is yes.

And if it is... then I don't see any difference in the child coming into the world 9 months later vs 2 years later.

9 posted on 03/20/2012 8:18:38 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
I don't see any difference

The difference is that one is completely natural and the other is completely artificial. I suppose people can do whatever they want, but when they come looking for a government handout it darn well ought to be based upon something natural, IMHO.

ML/NJ

10 posted on 03/20/2012 8:27:50 AM PDT by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
Well I suppose that's a difference between you and me. I see the willing participation of a married couple making love and conceiving a child a bit different than a widow unilaterally deciding to use a stash of her dead husband's sperm to get pregnant. And as a conservative this is a real problem with big government and social security as a whole, I don't think it's right to make abusing the system for selfish reasons legit. As a child who himself was eligible for social security benefits back in the sixties my father chose to do the honorable thing and raise my brother and I WITHOUT pilfering taxpayer's retirement fund. Social Security is bankrupt NOW. The only way recipients can get their checks NOW is to borrow money from other bankrupt agencies.

I am just a few short years from going on social security but for the good of the country I would rather shut the agency down NOW. I certainly don't want my multiple decades of hard earned money going to some twit that couldn't find a way of letting her dead husband rest in peace.

In my opinion your analogy is nothing more than a red-herring. Why not just clone the husband and get the social security administration to pay for that?
As one responder put it... It's "unnatural" to be artificially inseminated. People are free to do it but pay for the procedures and results yourself.

Unfortunately our society is now sick and devoid of the concept of "personal responsibility". Our Supreme Court is moderate to liberal in it's leanings and so I fear they too will side with your position. That doesn't make it right but rather sets a precedent that others will use to escalate the inevitable demise of social security and ultimately our country.

But what do I know? Common sense is frowned upon and mocked.

11 posted on 03/20/2012 8:45:10 AM PDT by Whats-wrong-with-the-truth (Romney... Just put the (D) behind your name and be done with it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

Both common law and statutory law recognize the possibility of a women being pregnant at the time that her husband dies. In such a case, the child, should the child be born and live the requisite time after birth, would be a surviving child. This woman was not pregnant at the time her husband died.


12 posted on 03/20/2012 8:46:35 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj

um... the social security death benefit is not a handout, it is a life insurance benefit meant to help widows and orphans, that you pay into.

The original intent of the benefit was to cover a situation like this:

A man is married to a wife who stays home and never works, and he works from age 20-65 and then promptly drops dead. You would argue that his wife and children get zip? even though he paid into the system for 45 years?

That is the situation the benefit is meant to cover. It gives a benefit to the surviving wife, and to the children until they reach adulthood.


13 posted on 03/20/2012 8:48:31 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
It takes 9 months to have a child after conception, I don’t see how having a child several years later is much different than having one 9 months later.

A child conceived nine months prior to its* father's death was nevertheless alive (in utero) at the time of its father's death.

A child conceived in vitro after the father's death - i.e. a child whose father was already dead at the point in time of conception - cannot, in any sense of the word, be regarded as a survivor.

Otherwise, I could claim to be a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic.

Besides that simple logical objection, there's also the fact that the mother knowingly and willfully conceived a child whose father would not be there to nurture, support, and raise it.

Regards,

*By the way: For the record, I am using the neutral personal possessive pronoun (its) not because I doubt the personhood of the conceived child - I don't - but rather because, generally, its gender is unknown before birth.

14 posted on 03/20/2012 8:53:29 AM PDT by alexander_busek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: ml/nj

so you are saying that any child conceived from IVF should be denied government benefits?

I am total confused about your “un-natural” comment.


15 posted on 03/20/2012 8:55:07 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: alexander_busek
I thought life begins at conception?

Is your problem with this the fact that it was only the sperm that was saved? what if a fertilized embryo had been frozen and implanted 2 years later?

16 posted on 03/20/2012 8:57:10 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: alexander_busek
A child conceived born nine months prior to after its* father's death was nevertheless alive (in utero) at the time of its father's death.

Sorry...

Regards,

17 posted on 03/20/2012 9:00:17 AM PDT by alexander_busek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Redmen4ever
"In such a case, the child, should the child be born and live the requisite time after birth, would be a surviving child."

And here in is the problem for pro-deathers. When does a "child" become a child? At conception or after he/she's breathed his/her first breath of air? If a child cannot be considered a child until after it's come out of the womb (9 months, 2 years, heck... 100 years) then the case can be made that it doesn't matter when the child was conceived and thus make murdering the child in the womb or pilfering the taxpayers retirement fund ok but... If it can be established that the child becomes a child at the moment of conception then all bets are off and civility, at least in part, will begin to return to our society.

This case is just one more attempt by the pro-abortion/deathers to dehumanize conceived, unborn children.

18 posted on 03/20/2012 9:01:26 AM PDT by Whats-wrong-with-the-truth (Romney... Just put the (D) behind your name and be done with it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
Is your problem with this the fact that it was only the sperm that was saved? what if a fertilized embryo had been frozen and implanted 2 years later?

A living, fertilized embryo - even if conceived in vitro, and even if not yet implanted in the endometrium of the uterus - is, indeed, alive (that cannot be doubted); further, it is a person. A frozen embryo, however, is not alive. I.e. it does not meet the conditions of the definition of "alive." To do that, it would have to have a metabolism.

But as long as we're proposing thought experiments here, riddle me this: What if I took that sperm sample and used it to fertilize the ova of 100 million Chinese women. Would those 100 million resultant children be eligible for Social Security benefits?

What?! You're saying that that was not what S.S. was originally designed for?

Regards,

19 posted on 03/20/2012 9:09:34 AM PDT by alexander_busek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: alexander_busek
ok..

so a man works 45 years paying into the system.

his wife and him want to have children, but she is diagnosed with cancer and will have to undergo radiation treatments. So they collect her eggs before hand and combine them with his sperm and freeze the resulting embryo. After her treatments, she is declared free of cancer and they start planning to have the frozen embryo unfrozen and implanted into her.

But.. before the embryo is unfrozen and implanted, the husband dies in an accident.

According to you, if she goes ahead and implants the embryo a week after his death, the resultant child shouldn't get any benefits?

20 posted on 03/20/2012 9:19:23 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Former Fetus

...but can’t comprehend life before birth.


21 posted on 03/20/2012 9:30:39 AM PDT by the invisib1e hand (knowledge puffeth; information deludeth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009

While the law is cut and dry, we can be kind. Either because we know the wishes of the woman or because we can presume her wishes, we refer to a widow with “Mrs.” and to the man as her husband. Women usually outlive men. I knew one who would put the t.v. on, on Sunday afternoons, to hear the football games being broadcast from another room, as that reminded her of her deceased husband. It is only decent of us to respect these ladies.

If an insurance company wanted to offer a policy to cover the living expenses of children conceived by stored sperm (and, presumably, stored eggs) after the death of the insured, there could be no objection. The premiums such an insurance company would have to charge, would have to reflect the different cost involved.

The Social Security survivor benefits program was not designed to cover the cost of raising children conceived by stored sperm after the death of the father. If we, as a society, wanted it to do that, the proper way would be for Congress to work the thing out, not for the Supreme Court to change the law with respect to who is recognized to be a survivor.

Were the Supreme Court to change the law, how would this effect inheritance? Certainly, you recognize there would have to be some time limit in view of inheritance? You can’t wait forever to disburse an estate because there may be store sperm. If there is a limit, then why is the current limit, which is that you have to be pregnant at the time your husband passes away, a bad limit?


22 posted on 03/20/2012 9:32:00 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Redmen4ever

yeah I agree this is a mess best sorted out by congress, the court should probably stay out of it.


23 posted on 03/20/2012 9:34:34 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Go Newt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Whats-wrong-with-the-truth

The law has long recognized a process of becoming human within the womb, prior to Roe v. Wade, which upset this law.

We can say our former law derived from St. Ambrose, who said, that which has the potential to be human should be treated as human.

The Catholic Church has, in the past century, overturned St. Ambrose, by denying there is no such thing as something that has the potential to be human and something that is human. Human life begins, all at once, upon conception.

The Catholic Church says that this is a matter of science. Human life is a function of the joining of a sperm and an egg.

St. Ambrose and I think differently. We think human life occurs when God infuses an eternal human soul into the material stuff. St. Ambrose and I know this has happened at or before the time of quickening. But, we do not claim to know when exactly this occurs.

Up until Roe v. Wade, our laws reflected this wonder. In all but two states, abortion was a crime after three months, and merely a regulated medical practice before (the two other states split on the matter, one making abortion a crime from conception, and other making abortion a regulated medical practice until birth).

In half the states, the woman involved was not identified as a criminal, but as herself a victim (probably a double victim, by the man who seduced her and by the abortionist who told her nobody would love her or her baby). In the other states, the woman was given statutory immunity in return for her testimony against the abortionist.

I think we had it about right, back before the Supreme Court overturned our laws as passed by our state legislatures.

On the matter of survivors, this has long been settled: if the woman is pregnant at this time her husband dies, that child, should the child be born and live the requisite period of time outside the womb, would be recognized as a surviving child of the deceased. Accordingly, that child would be fully qualified for an insurance benefit and proper share in the estate of the deceased.


24 posted on 03/20/2012 9:53:31 AM PDT by Redmen4ever
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr
I’d say the baseline problem with the pro-benefits side is that by definition, a “survivor” is somebody who is STILL HERE when somebody else is not. These post-death IVFs are, by definition, NOT survivors because they weren’t in existence at the time of Daddy’s death.

This sums it up pretty well. There was no survivor to give the benefits to until she created one. You are right on the money.

25 posted on 03/20/2012 11:06:20 AM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson