Right Livelihood and Abortion

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Ceisiwr
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Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am

I’m currently on work placement as part of my 2nd year biomedical science degree within a Histopathology Laboratory. Coming up soon I have to spend 2 weeks in the “sensitive area” which entails dissection of foetus. Some of them are the result of abortions. As part of my training I may have to practice dissecting a foetus or tissue from a foetus. My question is, is this wrong livelihood since it’s a part of the “trade” of killing human beings yet I am not directly killing the foetus’ (they are quite dead and fixed in preservative when they come to us)?

sentinel
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by sentinel » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:29 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am
I’m currently on work placement as part of my 2nd year biomedical science degree within a Histopathology Laboratory. Coming up soon I have to spend 2 weeks in the “sensitive area” which entails dissection of foetus. Some of them are the result of abortions. As part of my training I may have to practice dissecting a foetus or tissue from a foetus. My question is, is this wrong livelihood since it’s a part of the “trade” of killing human beings yet I am not directly killing the foetus’ (they are quite dead and fixed in preservative when they come to us)?
Do you know before arrive at your lab they are going to be killed ?
:buddha1:

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robertk
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:37 am

It's ok as you are completely removed from the killing, " they are quite dead and fixed in preservative ".

chownah
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by chownah » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:01 am

If you had to dissect the body of a person who was killed by someone would you think that you were somehow involved in that murder........seems to me to be the same situation.
chownah

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:10 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am
... is this wrong livelihood ...
No,
imo, unless you actively wish more foetuses to be aborted for your mastery in dexterity.

I think, it's somewhat like eating meat which doesn't necessarily related to breach of first precept.
🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐
  • "the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
  • The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:14 am

sentinel wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:29 am
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am
I’m currently on work placement as part of my 2nd year biomedical science degree within a Histopathology Laboratory. Coming up soon I have to spend 2 weeks in the “sensitive area” which entails dissection of foetus. Some of them are the result of abortions. As part of my training I may have to practice dissecting a foetus or tissue from a foetus. My question is, is this wrong livelihood since it’s a part of the “trade” of killing human beings yet I am not directly killing the foetus’ (they are quite dead and fixed in preservative when they come to us)?
Do you know before arrive at your lab they are going to be killed ?

No. It all happens before. We just, for want of a better word, dissect and process the tissue.

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:15 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:37 am
It's ok as you are completely removed from the killing, " they are quite dead and fixed in preservative ".
I wouldn’t be involved directly in the killing as a student nor in my future job role but I would be part of the “trade”.

sunnat
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by sunnat » Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:24 am

There is no magic. The aim should be to: do no evil, do good and cleanse the mind. And to facilitate that, every individual on this path, practicing as the Lord Buddha taught, is given a set of tools like the precepts. When adhering to the precepts (and correctly practicing the path, observing anicca) no new actions are responsible for the arising of suffering and past sufferings start to rise to pass away. No magic. Dhamma.

Every mental action of denying, rejecting or ignoring the Dhamma leads to suffering. Suffering is the totality of stress or unsatisfactoriness like an iceberg is not just the fraction above the surface of the sea. So, a twinge of disquiet is how deep, deep misery feels like to the ignorant mind. While there is doubt about whether an action is counter to the spirit of a precept, consider volition.

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robertk
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:53 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:15 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:37 am
It's ok as you are completely removed from the killing, " they are quite dead and fixed in preservative ".
I wouldn’t be involved directly in the killing as a student nor in my future job role but I would be part of the “trade”.
looking again, I see your post says "work placement" . I had been thinking of it as more of a student situation, rather than a paid occupation.

Have to know a bit more..do they onsell the dissected fetuses or something like that?

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Ceisiwr » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:29 am

robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:53 am
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:15 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:37 am
It's ok as you are completely removed from the killing, " they are quite dead and fixed in preservative ".
I wouldn’t be involved directly in the killing as a student nor in my future job role but I would be part of the “trade”.
looking again, I see your post says "work placement" . I had been thinking of it as more of a student situation, rather than a paid occupation.

Have to know a bit more..do they onsell the dissected fetuses or something like that?
No, it’s the NHS (UK). It’s pure diagnosis not research as far as I’m aware.

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robertk
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:04 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:29 am
robertk wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:53 am
Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:15 am


I wouldn’t be involved directly in the killing as a student nor in my future job role but I would be part of the “trade”.
looking again, I see your post says "work placement" . I had been thinking of it as more of a student situation, rather than a paid occupation.

Have to know a bit more..do they onsell the dissected fetuses or something like that?
No, it’s the NHS (UK). It’s pure diagnosis not research as far as I’m aware.
It is "sensitive" job, alright: pretty awful really.

But I don't think it crosses the line into wrong livelihood because firstly the fetuses are not being sold, and secondly this seems to be more training than an actual job.

As for the killing part, if you were the technician whose job it is to immediately count the arms and legs to make sure that the entire baby was ripped out ( there is apparently someone who does that), then it would be different- you might report to the dr. that a part is still intact, and he would do another suction.
But as the fetus is long dead it is a different matter.

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Antaradhana
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by Antaradhana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:17 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am
My question is, is this wrong livelihood
This is not a negative act, just as it not a negative act - an autopsy of the corpses by a pathologist. The doctor who does the abortion - commits murder. If you do not want such a specialty, then all is well.
All that is subject to arising is subject to termination, all formations are non-permanent. And that which is impermanent is suffering. Regarding what is impermanent and prone to suffering, one cannot say: "This is mine, I am this, this is my self".

sentinel
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by sentinel » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:43 pm

Ceisiwr wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:09 am
(they are quite dead and fixed in preservative when they come to us)?
If one is not doing the killing
Asking other to kill
Kill on your behalf
Knowing it is going to kill for you
Rejoicing in killing

I think probably one of above would create karma
:buddha1:

dharmacorps
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by dharmacorps » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:03 pm

I've worked in Histopathology for 20 years. I see zero precept issues with dissection of organs or autopsies/examination of dead bodies. You are very far removed from killing anyone or ordering anyone to kill.

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robertk
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Re: Right Livelihood and Abortion

Post by robertk » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:28 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:03 pm
I've worked in Histopathology for 20 years. I see zero precept issues with dissection of organs or autopsies/examination of dead bodies. You are very far removed from killing anyone or ordering anyone to kill.
Regarding the comparison with autopsies, the difference is that the doctors didn’t kill them, (or not deliberately) .
In the hospital where the OP. Is going to be placed, the doctor actually kills the fetus, so all the people assisting in that killing may committ kamma patha. I do agree that the technician doing the investigation is not part of that team.

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