Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Now What?

From CNN comes a headline that’s a little more like something out of a supermarket tabloid:

Brain-dead woman gives birth to baby girl

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) — A brain-dead pregnant woman who has been kept on life support for nearly three months to give her fetus more time to develop gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday, the woman’s brother-in-law said.

There were no complications during delivery and the baby “is doing well,” Justin Torres wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, weighs one pound 13 ounces and is 13 1/2 inches long, he said.

The infant was delivered via caesarean section, the hospital said.

Susan Torres, a 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, lost consciousness from a stroke May 7 after aggressive melanoma spread to her brain.

Her husband, Jason Torres, said doctors told him his wife’s brain functions had stopped.

Jason Torres quit his job to be by his wife’s side, and last month her fetus passed the 24th week of development — the earliest point at which doctors felt the baby would have a reasonable chance to survive, the brother-in-law said.

My heart goes out to the family and my best wishes to the little girl, and I’m also glad that the family was able to make these heart-wrenching decisions without the interference of the United States Congress.

But now that Ms. Torres has fulfilled her obligation by bearing this child to the 24th week, what will happen to her?