Waiting is not an option. February 5, 2008 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Telling anonymous to wait to test when they have specifically requested pre-birth paternity testing methods does not "help in finding an answer".

They obviously have a need to find out before, probably to take some kind of action that will be difficult or impossible later, and telling them to not worry about it and test after the birth isn't helpful.
posted by Mitheral to Etiquette/Policy at 10:08 AM (76 comments total)

How does having additional information (i.e. "this procedure might induce miscarriage") prevent them from doing whatever they are going to do anyway?
posted by peep at 10:12 AM on February 5, 2008


The issue here is that pre-birth testing requires amniocentesis, which is a controversial procedure because it induces risk (resulting in about low single-digit chances of losing your baby). As you can see from the answers to the question, people wanted to make it entirely clear that doing the test runs the risk of losing the baby, so a safer option would be to wait and skip the test that has a non-zero chance of causing harm.

Amnio tests seem to bring out people passionate about both sides of the issue -- some think the failure rate is trivial and the information gains are worth it, while others think you're going to kill your baby by taking it, so don't ever do it. I suspect on Ask MeFi it will tend to be like other sensitive issues (cat declawing, circumcision, etc) and anytime it comes up, it'll be problematic for strict readings of the question at hand.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:15 AM on February 5, 2008


by the way, just as a disclaimer -- my wife had an amnio before our daughter was born and it wasn't a decision we took lightly and lots of our friends disagreed with our choice to do it, so I'm keenly aware of the issues.

Mitheral, I would say in this case it is not off topic and though it doesn't answer the question in the narrow sense of the question, it is worth mentioning that one of the procedures introduces risk that can be avoided (but would require waiting). In this case, I believe the comments about the procedure should stand (even though like I said, my wife and I got one).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:17 AM on February 5, 2008


By the way, CV sampling, another suggestion in thread, is believed to cause an even higher rate of miscarriage than amnio.
posted by peep at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2008


Wasn't anonymous's question clearly answered? They ask if it's possible to test for paternity before birth, and if so, if it's an expensive or difficult process.

Summary of responses: Yes, can be done through amnio, but it's not commonly performed due to risk of miscarriage. Some debate on how risky the procedure is, which I think speaks to "difficulty" of the process.

There isn't really enough background supplied by the OP to speculate further on how emergency the need for paternity test might be.
posted by desuetude at 10:23 AM on February 5, 2008


They obviously have a need to find out before, probably to take some kind of action that will be difficult or impossible later, and telling them to not worry about it and test after the birth isn't helpful.

Well, they obviously have an interest in finding out before; "need" is a hard word to roll out here because we know nothing about the poster's motivation, so I think it's a little charged to declare that there's a clear big-n Need here vs. a poster looking for information.

Beyond that, I'm not seeing a whole bunch of "NO DON'T DO IT" out-of-context one-liners in there; it's mostly people talking about the risks related to the thing the poster was actually asking about. "Consider the risks involved in not waiting" is generally okay advice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:33 AM on February 5, 2008


Yes, by all means ignore the issue of potentially killing the baby as it is was not exactly the questioned asked. Just think of askme as a deposition. Anyway Mithereal, you are drawing a lot of assumptions about what anon needs. You do know about "assume" don't you? ;)
posted by caddis at 10:39 AM on February 5, 2008


It's always been acceptable to point out the question is wrong or impossible or point on flaws in reasoning as long as you're not be an obnoxious shit about it. Saying "Don't do it, you're stupid idiot not capable of raising children" is not the same as "Hey, that's kinda risky, you should wait 'till after birth and here's why."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:50 AM on February 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Anonymous wanted to know if there was a way to get paternity results before a child was born. The answer is yes. Are people afraid that someone would hear about a medical procedure, not take the effort to even google it for a few minutes, then go to the doctor to request one, and have the doctor not inform them of the risks before doing the procedure?
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:53 AM on February 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Could be I'm reading too much into this question. However I can only think of couple reasons why paternity before birth would even be an issue and the solutions to those issue can't be enacted once a birth has taken place. I didn't want to get into a debate in the AskMe over whether it would be possible to wait until after the birth.

Would an acceptable answer be to quote someone advising the OP to wait and append:
"Only the OP can decide how pressing the need to know is. My advice, if the OP needs to know then they should proceed with the procedure their doctor recommends."?

And I forget that Americans don't necessarily have access to health care that will inform people of the risks before performing a procedure.
posted by Mitheral at 10:59 AM on February 5, 2008


Well they certainly didn't take the time to google the question before posting it on Askme, so a little additional information can't hurt.
posted by edgeways at 10:59 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe there is some absolute iron-clad need for a pre-natal paternity test, and if that is the case, the Asker will see that it can be done, albeit with considerable risk to fetal health.

To simply say "yes" to this question is much like the old bit where the one guy (Peter Sellers, I think) asks the other guy (also Peter Sellers in my memory) if his dog bites.

"No," says the man standing with the dog. The first guy pets the dog and gets bitten.

"I thought you said your dog didn't bite!"

"That's not my dog."
posted by Mister_A at 11:09 AM on February 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


I sort of feel like an anonymous question with practically no information given is going to get a wide range of 'well, if THIS is what you mean..." responses. Sort of goes with the territory.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2008


Here it is! I was half right.
posted by Mister_A at 11:12 AM on February 5, 2008


Telling anonymous to wait to test when they have specifically requested pre-birth paternity testing methods does not "help in finding an answer".

On the other hand, being informed about the dangers of a medical procedure does help in valuating the answer (amnio).

Let's say you ask how to get rid of a hangnail. There are many ways to do this, including chopping off the offending digit. Clearly this is a technically correct answer, if an answer with very low utility.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on February 5, 2008


i hear a wah-mbulance.
posted by Horken Bazooka at 11:31 AM on February 5, 2008


Mister_A writes "albeit with considerable risk to fetal health."

Current research puts the increased risk of miscarriage due to an amino at 0.06%. I'm risk adverse by nature but that doesn't seem to be considerable to me.
posted by Mitheral at 11:44 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


(resulting in about low single-digit chances of losing your baby)

If by "low single digit" you mean "significantly less than 1% in the first trimester" and "no measurable risk in the second trimester" then you are correct, sir.
posted by Justinian at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


or what Mitheral said.
posted by Justinian at 11:47 AM on February 5, 2008


Some pretty bad answers in that thread, but as jessamyn said, the question's vagueness is largely to blame.
posted by brain_drain at 12:07 PM on February 5, 2008


I thought of one other possibility. It could be that one would like to know the paternity so that an abortion could be or not be considered. "Waiting until birth" wouldn't work for that, obviously.

Regardless, there is good info in the thread about the risks, etc.
posted by agregoli at 12:14 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


You've given us a post, sir,
But if you move a little closer
Here's a message that's so new,
So inviting, so exciting:

Whenever you post
I hear a wah-mbulance,
A MeTa melody
Pulling me closer
Closer to the flames.

Then suddenly, I hear a wah-mbulance,
Ooh, your kvetch is oh so fine
A MetaFilter whine,
till it's pitchfork time;
I'm lost in a world
Made for flaming out...
posted by languagehat at 12:28 PM on February 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well, our OB told us that the risk of peri-procedural miscarriage after amnio was in that historical 1/200 area; and, while I suspect that it may be higher with increasing maternal age, I will concede that this risk is likely lower than that stated figure. I am certain that we've gotten better at this procedure, compared to the early days, but I would err on the side of caution in these things.
posted by Mister_A at 12:31 PM on February 5, 2008


My exchange with Caddis brought up a point I wanted to make; "Take it to MeTa" is not some sort of gotcha trump card in Ask Metafilter. If someone posts wrong information to an Ask Metafilter thread, the correct information should go in that thread and not buried a hundred comments deep in Metatalk.

Caddis posted a scare story about amnio in the thread; responding in the thread is the only appropriate response unless his original comment is removed along with any responses.
posted by Justinian at 12:44 PM on February 5, 2008


I agree with Justinian. An anecdote isn't a trump card in AskMe - facts are what are needed to answer the question, not scare stories.
posted by agregoli at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2008


Well I didn't hear anonymous complaining.

just saying
posted by Mister_A at 12:59 PM on February 5, 2008


Agreed with Justinian on "take it to MeTa."
posted by grouse at 1:13 PM on February 5, 2008


It's not bad info. Amnio carries risk. There is one study which suggests that the risk is lower than previously thought. It might be true, but even if so, it is still not a trivial risk when you consider what you are risking - the baby's life. The anecdote only brings home how sometimes risks may seem small but things do happen and it is nasty when they do. My comment was in response to the one before it. Some people take the risk for some trivial reasons, and it is good to think about the possible consequences prior to taking the risk. These aren't the kind of long shot odds you want to beat. Oh, and of course, that study may not be correct. Anyway, I am hoping anon was already thinking about all of this, and if not it is good information to know in making a terribly difficult decision.
posted by caddis at 1:17 PM on February 5, 2008


The original poster asked about difficultl and we do not know what they mean by this. In that case more info is better than very little info.

Secondly, Mithral, there may be reasons why you need paternity info that do not include a "he says, she says", for example, hereditary genetic disorders, although less likely than your suspicion.
posted by Wilder at 1:21 PM on February 5, 2008


/difficulty/ sorry....
posted by Wilder at 1:22 PM on February 5, 2008


Also agreed with Justinian. "The answer you posted upthread is completely wrong, Steven C. Den Beste, and here's why..." is an on-topic response and may be posted in the AskMe thread.

As to the original issue, "stick to answering the question that was asked" is a guideline, not a rule, and is to be tempered by common sense. Cautions about the risks involved seem appropriate in this instance.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:25 PM on February 5, 2008


Some people take the risk for some trivial reasons

Who and why?
posted by brain_drain at 1:25 PM on February 5, 2008


DA, well said about common sense. As for my "take it to MeTa" comment, that was not a rebuke, but a request. Let's leave the arguments in here. The point has already been made in the thread, both pro and con, so back to the q as asked would be best. Let's continue the bitching over the relative safety of invasive procedures to MeTa to the extent that there even has to be any more bitching. If anyone has any good info on non-invasive genetic testing that would be good for the AskMe thread. I think they can do that to test for a few things, but I don't know about the reliability and I don't think paternity is included. They essentially seek some of the baby's dna from the mother's blood I think.
posted by caddis at 1:38 PM on February 5, 2008


I don't really see any bitching - most people were providing real concrete links and just that, not scary stories.
posted by agregoli at 1:44 PM on February 5, 2008


The poster did not ask "should I do a pre-natal paternity test" but simply "is it possible and what are the details". This has been answered already, with links to the relevant facts, and unless someone has research that shows those facts are wrong there is nothing left to contribute to the thread. All the people saying "do it" or "don't do it" aren't answering the question and are wasting everyone's time. The thread didn't ask for an argument about what they should or shouldn't do (and we have no facts about the poster, don't even know if they're pregnant, so such an argument is pointless anyway), so don't give them one.
posted by shelleycat at 1:48 PM on February 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I see what you're saying, caddis. It's been a bad day, sorry.
posted by Justinian at 1:51 PM on February 5, 2008


Wilder writes "Secondly, Mithral, there may be reasons why you need paternity info that do not include a 'he says, she says', for example, hereditary genetic disorders, although less likely than your suspicion."

I was careful to not speculate on the specific nature of the need except to say that the only reasons I could think of for needing a paternity test before for birth were such that waiting till after wouldn't be a viable solution.
posted by Mitheral at 2:22 PM on February 5, 2008


The poster did not ask "should I do a pre-natal paternity test" but simply "is it possible and what are the details"

I think, because the poster asked the question anonymously, that people might've read more meaning into it. But I agree completely. It was worded as an academic question, and should be answered as such.
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:34 PM on February 5, 2008


If I were the mom, I would make you wait until after birth for baby blood.

There's a basic assumption that the person is the putative father, who is concerned that he is not the father and doesn't want to support a child which is not his.

We don't know this. This could be a mother, somebody settling a bar bet, one of those "I'm writing a novel and I want to know about this" people, anyone. Just answer the question.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:35 PM on February 5, 2008


A mother, a possible father, and even the person writing the novel would potentially be interested in the risks. Possibly only the person settling the bar bet would not. When we don't have all the details, are you seriously suggesting we answer by making the assumption that the querent is whichever possibility would desire the least information?

Are you arguing that answers to "Which makes the better cleaning solution, two cups of ammonia mixed with one cup of bleach, or one cup of ammonia mixed with two cups of bleach" should not mention possible risks because, hey, maybe the querent only wants to settle a bar bet and isn't interested in the risks?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:52 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


No one is saying don't tell the person the risks. The risks are right there in the thread, actual statistics and facts about different procedures plus advice to talk with a medical professional and they are good answers. If anyone has actual information negating, adding to or modifying what is there then that should also be added (single anecdotes are not helpful), otherwise the question has been answered.

However answering "don't do it, it's a terrible idea" is an opinion, does not give useful information and has no place in that thread. The poster didn't ask for opinions about what they should do, or even say if they were thinking about using pre-natal testing in the first place, and such arguing adds nothing. Feel free to get as het up about these tests as you like but either keep it to yourself or put it here, the original poster over there doesn't need your moral outrage.
posted by shelleycat at 3:21 PM on February 5, 2008


No one is saying don't tell the person the risks.

I disagree. That is certainly under debate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:23 PM on February 5, 2008


Did anyone actually read the FASTER study, or just the news blurb about it, or the ONE doctor's agreement with it? I did some research and found that the risk of miscarriage depends on when the amnio is done, and that it increases in the second trimester to .5- 1.0%. That's one in a hundred or one in two hundred.

So I don't know where Justinian's, "no measurable risk in the second trimester" comes from, but I would suggest that calling caddis' remarks "bad info" in light of his own comments is a ridiculous assertion.
posted by misha at 3:41 PM on February 5, 2008


No one is saying don't tell the person the risks.

I disagree. That is certainly under debate.


Well the askme thread certainly doesn't need to turn into a debate about risk, since it is not mentioned in the question. But I don't even think it's really necessary to debate it here, either - but, well, this is MetaTalk.

If the poster is seriously considering the procedure (either for herself, or somebody he/she knows), then there's a very good chance that the medical practitioner who actually performs the procedure will duly inform the pregnant woman of the risks involved.

Furthermore, said medical practitioner might even be better at it than Mefites (shocking, I know!).
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:29 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


If the poster is seriously considering the procedure (either for herself, or somebody he/she knows), then there's a very good chance that the medical practitioner who actually performs the procedure will duly inform the pregnant woman of the risks involved.

Furthermore, said medical practitioner might even be better at it than Mefites (shocking, I know!).


True, but let's say it's something less sensitive, like an auto repair. Someone knows that if you pull part A off of a certain car (the kind the questioner owns, say) there's a risk that something bad but initially unnoticeable might happen to part B.

Should that information be shared with the questioner, or should the person assume that any mechanic this person goes to will inform them? I realize this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but I picked it precisely for that reason; to make it clear that when it is *not* life and death, having that extra information is helpful...so why wouldn't it be helpful when it *is* life and death?
posted by davejay at 4:36 PM on February 5, 2008


misha: read the literature. The increase in risk of pregnancy loss in second trimester amniocentesis does not reach statistical significance. The link you provided doesn't address that at all. It contains a throwaway line about the risk of CVS (not amniocentesis) being 0.5%-1.0% in the second trimester and asserts that it is comparable to amniocentesis. That, however, has no cites in the article.

Look at the links provided above of the risk being estimated at 1 in 1600. That's 0.06% which isn't significant.
posted by Justinian at 4:37 PM on February 5, 2008


Here's a summary. The actual study doesn't appear to be available without paying $$$ online.
posted by Justinian at 4:40 PM on February 5, 2008


True, but let's say it's something less sensitive, like an auto repair. Someone knows that if you pull part A off of a certain car (the kind the questioner owns, say) there's a risk that something bad but initially unnoticeable might happen to part B.

Should that information be shared with the questioner, or should the person assume that any mechanic this person goes to will inform them? I realize this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but I picked it precisely for that reason; to make it clear that when it is *not* life and death, having that extra information is helpful...so why wouldn't it be helpful when it *is* life and death?



Presumably, if it's something less sensitive, then it won't be posted anonymously. In which case answerers can get feedback from the poster, and be more helpful.

I'm not advocating that risks shouldn't be mentioned at all. But it seems to me that there are too many unknowns to start clogging the tread of a perfectly simple and completely answerable question with debates regarding risk.

To extend your example, if altering part A somehow affects part B, but only sometimes, and only for certain cars, should a debate ensue about how likely that is and the pros and cons of the procedure when you don't even know whether the questioner has a car that is at risk, or even has a car at all?
posted by kisch mokusch at 4:54 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's another version of need that occurs prenatal: the putative father has decided he doesn't want to be a father, and consequently, won't pay for any prenatal care unless the mother proves its his child. Forced to choose between a test that MAY affect the fetus, and a total lack of prenatal care which WILL affect the fetus, I know which one I'd choose.
posted by headspace at 5:00 PM on February 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yes, I had the same trouble finding the actual study without paying. But the summary also notes that only 3000 of the 35,000 participants opted for amnio in the study. So apparently there are a lot of people who worry about the risk of the procedure more than the risk of birth defect.
posted by misha at 5:01 PM on February 5, 2008


Here's a summary. The actual study doesn't appear to be available without paying $$$ online.

I have a copy of the full text. Don't have time to read it, don't really care either (I'm not up for arguing about these risks today), but am happy to send it to anyone who wants it. Flick me an email and I'll send the pdf. My journal access is pretty good and it's a public holiday in NZ right now, so if you have any others you need I may be able to do that too.
posted by shelleycat at 5:13 PM on February 5, 2008


Well the askme thread certainly doesn't need to turn into a debate about risk, since it is not mentioned in the question.

Omission in the question, whether true or not, doesn't absolve the asker of hearing about any risks assessed from the answers provided. Cutting off one's finger is an entirely correct, if entirely foolish resolution to a hangnail.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:22 PM on February 5, 2008


Incidentally, if anyone's still waiting for the Whambulance...

I've so been waiting to steal that. You may continue.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:54 PM on February 5, 2008


Blazecock, I wasn't trying to absolve the answerer of hearing about risk, rather questioning whether it needs to be debated about in thread. Answers often go off on little tangents in an effort to be helpful. But at some point, you have to draw the line between being helpful, and going too far away from the question.

Mentioning that you could cut the finger off is one thing, subsequently arguing about whether to use an axe or a box cutter is another.

Luckily for us, Metatalk is perfectly suited for this.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:54 PM on February 5, 2008


am happy to send it to anyone who wants it. Flick me an email and I'll send the pdf.

You have republishing rights to that article?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:16 PM on February 5, 2008


FYI - it is an entirely reasonable question to ask the physician or technician performing the test what their record is, and by the way, this is a reasonable question to ask in writing. You will find that better doctors have a better record. Anecdotal evidence - a close friend of mine asked this wrt to the OB practice that she went to. Answer: 0. Nada. Never. None.

As pointed out, the numbers lie in some of the tests. My wife tested positive in the AFP test and we chose to NOT get further screening. Part of this decision was from the rate of false positives in AFP versus the published rate for miscarriage in amnio (CVS was not an advertised option then), versus her age-based risk. Standard risk-management process. And our daughter has Trisomy-21, aka Down syndrome, which has been a huge stewing kettle of emotional, medical, physical, and parental learning for us.

Our second, we opted for CVS as Mrs. Plinth was in a different age range and if you've won the lottery once, you're more likely to win the lottery again (1 in 100 or greater). We asked about miscarriage rates with CVS and the answer was very low (I don't recall the exact number- the answer was reassuring, though).

And if there is a unasked question for me, I'll answer it: it's been the most fabulous traumatic event I've ever been through, and boy howdy has it changed us all for the better.
posted by plinth at 6:23 PM on February 5, 2008


If anyone has actual information negating, adding to or modifying what is there then that should also be added (single anecdotes are not helpful),

They're not? Who are you to decide they're not? Are you confessing to being the OP? Or can read the OPs mind? Or even knows who the OP is? If not, you don't know whether single anecdotes are helpful to the OP or not. Maybe you think the OP shouldn't be swayed by anecdotes, and I might even agree with you on that, but we're humans, not Vulcans, and we often are swayed by anecdotes, and it's not up to you or me to decide for the OP that anecdotes are not a legitimate form of answer.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:42 PM on February 5, 2008


But at some point, you have to draw the line between being helpful, and going too far away from the question.

It is helpful to mention amnio. It is helpful to mention the non-zero risks. This is certainly not either/or land, and both responses help answer the question.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 PM on February 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


I do not disagree with any of those sentences, and haven't done. I don't even know why I'm still here. I'm not in either/or land, I think I'm in plate-of-beans land.
posted by kisch mokusch at 11:20 PM on February 5, 2008


Oh boy... plate-of-beans land! That's where I'm a viking!
posted by grouse at 12:15 AM on February 6, 2008


all niceties aside, anonymous is obviously a married woman who doesn't know if she's about to give birth to her husband's baby, and doesn't want to give birth to the "wrong" baby so to speak for whatever reason. I'm betting that the idea is to get rid of it if it has the wrong father. risk of amnio must be very low on anonymous's priorities, since I bet there's a 50% chance she won't have the baby anyway.
posted by matteo at 3:48 AM on February 6, 2008


anonymous is obviously a married woman who doesn't know if she's about to give birth to her husband's baby

those are some pretty heavy assumptions
posted by caddis at 4:26 AM on February 6, 2008


Jesus fucking unborn who's my daddy christ.

The question was not, "Should I have amniocentisis to determine the father of my child?"

The question was, "Is it possible to discover the father of a child when it has been conceived, but not born?

Please read the question before answering it.
posted by fandango_matt at 4:40 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


please put your horse blinders on - all other relevant information is to be ignored - turn off your brain

jesus effing christ - are you people all morons?
posted by caddis at 4:49 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The question was, "Is it possible to discover the father of a child when it has been conceived, but not born?

So in your mind there should have been one answer simply saying "Yes".
posted by smackfu at 5:35 AM on February 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


all niceties aside, anonymous is obviously a married woman...

All niceties aside, the OP is clearly the abusive husband of a crack-whore who has been routinely sodomising his own 14 year old daughter for the last 3 months. Now that the daughter's pregnant, he wants to know whether he's the father - in which case he's up for statutory rape and should beat said daughter until she has a miscarriage, or whether one of the 17 guys she's been screwing over the last month and a half is the father - in which case he should let her carry the bastard to term and cash in on the welfare checks. Either way, risk of amnio will be low on anonymous's priorities, since the baby's probably already brain damaged anyway.

At least we agree on the risk bit, and that's the most important thing.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


jesus effing christ - are you people all morons?

Yes, all of us. You're the only smart, reasonable left and we're coming for you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 AM on February 6, 2008


Please read the question before answering it.

Please read the other comments in this thread before commenting yourself.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:20 AM on February 6, 2008


All niceties aside, the OP is clearly the abusive husband of a crack-whore who has been routinely sodomising his own 14 year old daughter for the last 3 months. Now that the daughter's pregnant, he wants to know whether he's the father

Sodomy leads to pregnancy?

I learn something new every day.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:45 AM on February 6, 2008


Despite your joke, five fresh fish, it has happened.

I don't have a problem with the risks being mentioned - but the thread did get sidetracked away from the question. For all anyone knows, the OP doesn't even care about the risks.

I agree with whoever said that doctors are the ones who impart risk knowledge for a procedure. The question wasn't about that. I think that if this question was about car engines there wouldn't be this uproar.
posted by agregoli at 8:08 AM on February 6, 2008


sorry about the morons thing....
posted by caddis at 8:42 AM on February 6, 2008


Here's a pony: Would it be possible to set up some sort of temporary account system for AskMe where each anonymous asker is given a temporary username? Something like "Anonymous_ThreadNumber" that would only be good for posting in that one thread and would expire when the thread is archived?

This would allow anon to participate in the thread without outing themselves.

matt and pb, would this causing much wailing and gnashing of teeth for you?
posted by SteveTheRed at 9:35 AM on February 6, 2008


People are going to disagree on what level of context to infer from a question poised in a vacuum. There's no bright line test for relevance here, but everyone in that thread makes at least the assumption that the OP wants more than a yes/no answer; anyone who responded "Yes. The first trimester. Yes." would be called out for a snarky answer, though it is technically the only right way to respond, if you go by the lack of context. After you accept that premise, it becomes a guessing game about how much implied context is too much, and how much you think the OP "should" know.

I think that mentioning a potential medical risk for a particular procedure (the debate for this case is irrelevant to my point) is perfectly valid given the limited context of the question. Moral and ethical judgments, on the other hand, would not be.
posted by anifinder at 10:05 AM on February 6, 2008


The question ends with: If so, at what stage in the pregnancy, and is this an expensive or difficult process?

This is where the "wait until after the birth because there are risks" etc. part comes in. Some would suggest that "expensive" could be reckoned in terms of loss, not just coin; i.e. the chance of losing the child is an expense you might want to forgo. It could also be argued that "difficult process" has all kinds of connotations--difficult physically, mentally, emotionally--so that the opinions expressed in the answers all bear weight.

Or, you know, not. Whatever. With a question such as this, that provides few specifics, it is easy to start making assumptions about the poster, including that the poster would want to know what YOU would want to know in similar circumstances.

Which means ALL of the answers are right! Hooray for us!
posted by misha at 11:18 AM on February 6, 2008


Sodomy leads to pregnancy?

I learn something new every day.


All niceties aside, the OP is clearly the misinformed, abusive husband etc. etc.
posted by kisch mokusch at 12:08 PM on February 6, 2008


This is where the "wait until after the birth because there are risks" etc. part comes in.

I'm still wondering if there is a possibility of no "after birth" option. Lots of assumptions on all sides for this one.
posted by agregoli at 12:15 PM on February 6, 2008


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