Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

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pilgrim
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Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by pilgrim » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:40 pm

In the context of Buddhism and the 1st precept, when a woman undergoes an abortion, who kills the fetus? The mother or the doctor?
Commentaries say the 5 conditions must be fulfilled for the precept of killing to be broken. These are:
1. The being must be alive.
2. There must be the knowledge that it is a live being.
3. There must be an intention to cause death.
4. An act must be done to cause death.
5. There must be death, as the result of the said act.

Going by these conditions, it would appear the doctor kills; the mother only allows him to do so.

ieee23
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by ieee23 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:03 pm

This is the 3rd thread I've seen recently pertaining to abortion, an issue not emphasized in Buddhism nearly as much as in some sectors of Western Christianity. Given that, and the frequency of these threads, it makes me wonder, whether consciously or not, if some people have an ax to grind with women. No disrespect nor insult meant to anyone.

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pilgrim
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by pilgrim » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:20 pm

ieee23 wrote:This is the 3rd thread I've seen recently pertaining to abortion, an issue not emphasized in Buddhism nearly as much as in some sectors of Western Christianity. Given that, and the frequency of these threads, it makes me wonder, whether consciously or not, if some people have an ax to grind with women. No disrespect nor insult meant to anyone.
Most threads on abortion lie within the context of whether or when women break the precept. I'm suggesting that this fundamental presumption may be flawed as it is the doctor who appears to be more involved in killing.

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aflatun
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by aflatun » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:19 pm

If the doctor or mother do not believe that #2 applies (i.e. the fetus is not yet a 'living being'), #3-#5 don't apply, as they see it

That aside, even if the doctor performs the abortion, its at the request of the mother, she's "hired him" to do the killing I suppose

If the abortion is affected pharmacologically, the doctor might prescribe the pill but the mother takes it

Its complicated.
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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Dhammanando
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:08 pm

pilgrim wrote:Going by these conditions, it would appear the doctor kills; the mother only allows him to do so.
I think the fourth factor, upakkama, would be better rendered as "making an effort".

When a person orders someone, hires someone, or hints to someone to kill a living being, both commit pāṇātipāta. The one who commissions the killing fulfils the factor of effort by the giving of the order; the hireling fulfils it by carrying it out. According to the commentaries the weightier kamma is that of the person giving the order.

Outside of the People's Republic of China (where many women are made to have abortions against their will) the mother's participation will normally consist in rather more than just allowing the doctor's action.

binocular
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:50 pm

ieee23 wrote:This is the 3rd thread I've seen recently pertaining to abortion, an issue not emphasized in Buddhism nearly as much as in some sectors of Western Christianity. Given that, and the frequency of these threads, it makes me wonder, whether consciously or not, if some people have an ax to grind with women. No disrespect nor insult meant to anyone.
Has it ever occured to you that these threads could be prompted by something else?
Such as concern for women and the unborn?
Or questioning the mainstream societal dictate "You must have sex, or there's something wrong with you and you should see a doctor"?

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robertk
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by robertk » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:00 pm

A monk, out of a desire that the man not suffer long, asked an executioner to make sure the axe swing was fast and solid : the executioner did put in a little extra effort. The monk was parijika.

In another case the executioner ignored the monks request: not parijika.

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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:10 pm

aflatun wrote:Its complicated.
It is, inasmuch we're talking about living up to the rules of a society in which people are expected to engage in sex, not give birth to unwanted children, and in which 100% reliable contraceptive methods do not exist.

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aflatun
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by aflatun » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:19 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:10 pm
aflatun wrote:Its complicated.
It is, inasmuch we're talking about living up to the rules of a society in which people are expected to engage in sex, not give birth to unwanted children, and in which 100% reliable contraceptive methods do not exist.
I don't think this has anything to do with the rules of society, it has to do with a conflict between the rules of penis, vagina and cortical signaling
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

2600htz
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by 2600htz » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:55 am

Hello:

Well, u have the story of king Bimbisara.
His son was never able to attain nibbana, even while being extremely devoted to the buddha, and eventually was reborn in a hell realm, just for arranging his fathers death (in the same way some mother arranges with a doctor an abortion).


Regards.

davidbrainerd
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by davidbrainerd » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:13 am

pilgrim wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:40 pm
In the context of Buddhism and the 1st precept, when a woman undergoes an abortion, who kills the fetus? The mother or the doctor?
Well in the Vinaya, in the Pāṭimokkha, Any monk who kills someone, or seeks an assassin, or talks someone into suicide, is considered defeated by Mara and expelled. So no distinction is understood between killing someone yourself and arranging for someone else to do it.

binocular
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:48 am

aflatun wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:19 pm
I don't think this has anything to do with the rules of society, it has to do with a conflict between the rules of penis, vagina and cortical signaling
Rules of penis, vagina and cortical signaling written by whom?

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Aloka
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by Aloka » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:01 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:50 pm
..... the mainstream societal dictate "You must have sex, or there's something wrong with you and you should see a doctor"?
That doesn't appear to be the mainstream societal dictate where I live - and most people I know couldn't care less whether other people are having sex on not, they're too busy trying to earn a living and make ends meet financially, either for themselves or their families.
Last edited by Aloka on Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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polarbear101
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by polarbear101 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:02 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:48 am
aflatun wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:19 pm
I don't think this has anything to do with the rules of society, it has to do with a conflict between the rules of penis, vagina and cortical signaling
Rules of penis, vagina and cortical signaling written by whom?
Basic evolutionary drives/craving
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

binocular
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:04 am

Aloka wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:01 am
binocular wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:50 pm
..... the mainstream societal dictate "You must have sex, or there's something wrong with you and you should see a doctor"?
That doesn't appear to be the mainstream societal dictate where I live. Most people I know couldn't care less whether other people are having sex on not, they're too busy trying to earn a living and make ends meet financially, either for themselves or their families.
"You're still a virgin?!" -- why can people understand this as pejorative?

binocular
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:06 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:02 am
Basic evolutionary drives/craving
And who determines what "basic evolutionary drives/craving" are?

Are nominally scientific descriptions of phenomena truly free from all ideology?

Are scientists enlightened people who can "see things as they really are"?

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Aloka
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by Aloka » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:13 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:04 am

"You're still a virgin?!" -- why can people understand this as pejorative?
Yes that's extremely rude and intrusive. I'm divorced, so that question never arises.

.

binocular
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by binocular » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:30 am

Aloka wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:13 am
binocular wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:04 am
"You're still a virgin?!" -- why can people understand this as pejorative?
Yes that's extremely rude and intrusive. I'm divorced, so that question never arises!
A while back, the head of gynecology at the local university hospital here said in an interview on national television that engaing in sex 3-4 per week is normal.

When I was in college, all students, regardless of their major, had to pass a medical exam, consisting of a physical exam and filling out a psychological questionnarie. There were questions like:
How often do you engage in sex?
Type of contraceptives used?
What types of sex do you engage in (vaginal, oral, anal)?
Number of live births?
Number of abortions?

If one didn't give satisfactory answers, one was called back for counselling. Fortunately, the counselling wasn't mandatory; but people who failed the test had to go back to at least acknowledge that the authorities discovered there was something wrong with one.


While individual people most likely don't concern themselves much with most of other people's sex lives, there are widely spread ideas about sexual normalcy that many people seem to adhere to strongly. And when it is discovered, in whatever way, that a particular person doesn't live up to those ideas, that person is not rarely judged severely.

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Aloka
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by Aloka » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:48 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:30 am

When I was in college, all students, regardless of their major, had to pass a medical exam, consisting of a physical exam and filling out a psychological questionnarie. There were questions like:
How often do you engage in sex?
Type of contraceptives used?
What types of sex do you engage in (vaginal, oral, anal)?
Number of live births?
Number of abortions?

I find that quite shocking and didn't have anything like that to do when I was a student myself. Didn't anyone complain about it?

chownah
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Re: Abortion - who kills? Mother or doctor

Post by chownah » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:48 am

Was it a roman catholic related college?
chownah

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