In 1981, in an effort to bring uniformity to state law, the National Conference of Commissioners brought forth a sweeping change regarding the determination of death. Called the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA), it set the standard for the proclamation of definite death and was adopted as the standard by 38 states. The act, as written, defines the death of an individual when: 1) An individual has sustained either irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, OR, 2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.

I hate to see a country divided. This opinion is simple as it has no foundation in emotion. I have merely put the weight of the decision on one regard; logic.

The argument of abortion is founded on the lack of determination of when life truly begins. If a true point of life were determined, then we can all agree that someone who chooses to end that life with no reason other than “they feel like they have the right to do so,” would be considered a heinous act of murder.

The logic would ask that our government create a Uniform Determination of Life Act. It would set the standard for the proclamation of definite life. The act would simply propose the opposite of the UDDA. It would define the life an individual occurs when: 1) An individual has developed circulatory and respiratory function, AND, 2) functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.

Complete fetal brain function, including cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, pituitary gland and hypothalamus begins at 8 weeks. Respiratory function as the fetus will inhale and exhale amniotic fluid begins at weeks 10-11. While the circulatory vein function begins to form around 6 weeks, it isn’t complete until 16 weeks.

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Based on the accepted medical standards in the UDDA, the definite determination of life would begin at 16 weeks. Any reproductive choice to end the life of the fetus at that point would be paramount to murder. In the defense of the health of the mother, removal of the fetus would be allowed as it would not be a reproductive choice, but a self-defense case.

Here’s to hoping we can bring some sense of unity and stability to an already divided country.