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e pluribus unum
So in response to a snarky post I made on Sunday, asking whether tea party loving, federal government...
Apparently a Utah senator is now planning to propose one of those “life begins at conception” amendments. The hard, cold reality is that it just doesn’t (any more than it “begins” with the “potential” of a living egg or sperm). There’s a reason 1/4 to 1/5 of all pregnancies self-terminate naturally at the end of the first trimester: that’s when the in-it-for-the-long-haul pregnancy really begins, with the placenta taking over from the corpus luteum hormones that have been temporarily keeping it from self-aborting. If the pregnancy is not viable, the hormones propping it up bail at around week 12 as usual, and the system reboots. If it is viable, the pregnancy continues, as the placenta kicks in.
Claiming that (for instance) false-start, formless blobs of cells (see "blighted ovum" where “a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, but fetal development never begins”) which never had a chance in the first place, which were never a “child,” and which result in natural termination of a non-viable pregnancy at the end of month three, are all “babies” “from conception” is not only morally offensive, but just plain crazy. See "The Different Types of Miscarriage" to get some sense of the magnitude of wrongness and ruthlessness from on high that a “life begins at conception” amendment would represent.
And this doesn’t even begin to touch the inevitable "criminalization of miscarriage" (here’s one example of how this works: "Pregnant? Don’t Fall Down the Stairs" @ RH Reality Check) and the outlawing of most folks’ birth control.
Viability and established pregnancy »»»
Beginning of human personhood »»»
Jon Huntsman is making the news again with seemingly self-contradictory comments on climate change. Is he "flip-flopping" as many have gleefully opined?
In a move that’s sure to endear him to the conservatives who are starting to warm up to the former Utah governor, Huntsman said Tuesday under questioning from TPM that he now believes there’s “more debate yet to play out” before we can be sure climate change is really happening. That’s certainly not the way Huntsman sounded waaay back in August, when he famously tweeted: “To be clear, I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”
"[T]here is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently," Huntsman said, referring to the East Anglia University conspiracy that continues to fuel climate change skepticism. “I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation.” Read more…
Some in the comments section disagree:
ameliaallen169: “…he hasn’t flip-flopped. He still believes Climate Change is real and is only saying that the part up for debate is the RESPONSE to climate change.”
truth-spin: “Thing is, Huntsman didn’t say what the headline says. Not even close. Are there questions about the science? Sure there are. Should the scientific community be on the side of helping to clarify the situation? Of course they should. And the few proven instances of made up data and conclusions clearly doesn’t help. Is he trying to thread the needle so that someone who wants to support him but for this issue can do so, no question. And maybe it is too clever. But he hasn’t flip flopped at all…” Read more…
Regardless, here’s a reality check, also in the comments, on the deja-vu hullaballoo about climate scientists’ emails:
radicalrealist: “As a practicing scientist, I can tell you that there was nothing whatsoever to the East Anglia emails. I have often discussed with my colleagues how best to present data. That was what the scientists were doing. No fraud or suppression of data. It’s been thoroughly investigated by scientific review panels and no wrongdoing was found.” Read more…
The "each vs every" thought model was briefly addressed in "Your Share of the Tent - How to Fix Capitalism, Government, Education and Family" recently here on reduce to fit:
Many of the problems of our large bureaucracies stem from people talking about guaranteeing that things apply to “every” person rather than to “each” person. “Every” child should have a good education, instead of “each” child, for instance. When we think in terms of “every,” we’re creating a one-size-fits-all giant, top-down, ruling bureaucracy. When we think in terms of “each,” we’re creating a cellular, modular, customizable, flexible, versatile, resilient, servant-leadership structure. When teachers are geared toward serving the unique needs of each individual student, guided by the adults in that student’s family who are their stewards and guardians (legal and otherwise) and ultimately responsible for raising them, we as a people can succeed. When teachers and students and families are forced to conform to some mass-produced “every child” (or “no child”) structure, in which children and families and teachers serve the system, rather than the other way around, we as a people cannot succeed — at least not with our moral values intact. Read more…
This article at ScienceDaily points out proven benefits to the “person-centred approach” in healthcare, as well, which help to argue for attending to “each” person rather than “every” person:
"Shorter Hospital Stay With Person-Centered Healthcare"
ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2011) — Healthcare that implements a person-centred approach not only make care more efficient, but also yields more satisfied patients. A study carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that if there is an active partnership between the patient and healthcare professionals, the patient’s hospital stay can be reduced by one-third. Read more…
An interesting point, raised in a second ScienceDaily article is that some people just want to be told what to do. This is presented in the article as if it were a problem, possibly causing “patient-centred healthcare” to “backfire.” But in truly “person-centred” care, the “each” approach takes this into consideration:
"If there’s a take-home message for the patient, it’s that you shouldn’t be shy about finding a doctor with the style you prefer," he said. “Doctors’ attitudes and personalities are just as diverse as patients’ attitudes and personalities. Finding a good match can be very important in terms of how satisfied you are with the care you receive and, ultimately, whether or not you stay healthy.” Read more…
Healthcare is certainly another context in which it makes sense to decentralize control and decision-making into smaller, more versatile organizational modules (like doctors, clinics, patients, and families), to be able to more efficiently serve the diverse needs of “each” person, rather than “every” person.