Becoming a Stillbirth Child:
Interpreting "a Fetus who Is Going to Die" and Bioethics from Case Studies in France

YAMAMOTO Yumiko March 20, 2015 Seikatsu Shoin, 272p.



『Becoming a Stillbirth Child: Interpreting

YAMAMOTO Yumiko March 20, 2015 Becoming a Stillbirth Child: Interpreting "a Fetus who Is Going to Die" and Bioethics from Case Studies in France,Seikatsu Shoin, 272p. ISBN-10:4865000356 ISBN-13:978-4865000351 2800+ [amazon][kinokuniya]


Living but stillborn?
The stillborn child was supposed to be delivered as an ordinary child and he/she actually “lives” both within and outside his/her mother’s womb. However, in reality, he/she is regarded as the stillborn child. Why is that? The author considers his/her vivid living.

■Table of Contents

Introductory Chapter The Past of a Stillbirth Child
 Section 1 Blank Research Area of a Stillbirth Child
 (1) What Is a Stillbirth Child?
 (2) "A Fetus who Is Going to Die"
 (3) Bioethics and a Stillbirth Child over Abortion
 Section 2 A Stillbirth Child and Bioethics in France
 (1) Bioethics in France
 (2) Legal Position of an Embryo and a Fetus
 (3) Literature concerning a Stillbirth Child
 Section 3 Challenges and Methodology

Chapter 1 Terms of "Child without Life" and Its Proof
 Section 1 Proof of a Child who Dies before Birth
 Section 2 "Certificate of Child without Life" and Standard of "Viability"
 (1) "Certificate of Child without Life": History of Destruction of a Child's Birth (Civil Law and Criminal Law)
 (2) Standard of "Viability": Introduction into Law and Medicine
 Section 3 Article 79 (1) of Civil Code and Terms of Making "Certificate of Child without Life"
 Section 4 Determination by Cour de cassation on February 6, 2008
 (1) How to Certify "Child without Life"
 (2) Relationship between "Child without Life" and "Delivery"
 Section 5 Confusion over "Rights of Abortion", Position of an Embryo and a Fetus and "Medical Waste"
 Section 6 Summary

Chapter 2 Artificial Abortion for Medical Reasons and the Techniques for "Stillborn"
 Section 1 An Aborted Fetus Delivered in the Living State
 Section 2 Artificial Abortion in Japan
 Section 3 Artificial Abortion in France: History of Criminalization and Legalization
 Section 4 Transition of Artificial Abortion for Medical Reasons: What Is Therapeutical Abortion?
 Section 5 Adaptation of a Fetus and Deliberation under Artificial Abortion for Medical Reasons
 Section 6  Techniques for "Stillborn": "Fetal Euthanasia" and "Foeticide"
 Section 7  Summary

Chapter 3 Dead Body of a Stillbirth Child: Whereabouts and Treatment
 Section 1 Concept of the Dead Body of the Person
 Section 2 Incident of a "Fetus of 351 who Was Forgotten to Manage" in 2005: Its Outline and Whereabouts of the Dead Body of the Fetus
 Section 3 In What Case Can the Dead Body of the Fetus Be Kept?
 Section 4 Dead Body of the Fetus and Incineration/Funeral (Funeral: Cremation/Burial)
 Section 5 Dead Body of the Fetus and Autopsy
 Section 6 What Is the Essence of the Problem?
 Section 7 Summary

Final Chapter Conclusion and Future Challenges

Subject Index


When all of a sudden, with no one being able to do anything about it, a fetus dies in the womb or dies when passing through the birth canal and is already dead when it is born, it is generally called a stillborn child. Stillborn children surely exist. And they can be also called "pure" stillborn children. In this book I would like to fous not on them. What I would like to address here is beings, who were expected to be born as children, were alive both inside and outside the womb, but "became" stillborn children at a certain point of time. To make our definition a little more precise, let us add this: although they were alive in the mother's womb, were still alive when they came out of it, they "ended up" as stillborn. Please note that the whole sentence is written in active voice. As far as I know, at least in the area of bioethics there are no words to describe such beings. Here, I would like to refer to them as "fetuses who are going to die." Among those we call "stillborn children", there is quite a number of such "fetuses who are going to die", buried and forgotten as if they did no exist in the first place. Various legal, medical, and social mechanisms work to drape such "fetuses who are going to die" as "products of natural providence", hiding them among the "pure" stillborn children.

Quite a number of stillborn children are, in fact, human-induced. And if it is so, a stillborn child is one of the social phenomena. At the same time, this makes stillborn children a subject that inevitably has to be discussed in the realm of bioethics. To break the ice, first and foremost I would like to shed light upon the legal and medical aspects of "fetuses who are going to die". Secondly, I would like to link all sorts of points at issue surfacing there to the so-called stillborn children and examine in terms of bioethics the past, the present and the future of "fetuses who are going to die." And, finally, I try to reveal this domain of stillborn children, which has been missed by the contemporary bioethics - at the same time disambiguating the existence of "fetuses who are going to die"- and show the importance of this domain for our society.

There is a country, which has started to directly face these hidden beings. This country is France. France is well known for its efforts to systematize the so-called "bioethics law". This does not mean that France has been examining the issue of stillborn children in terms of bioethics. However, by deciphering the phenomena and the legal and medical framework surrounding stillborn children in France we can try and create a new theory to come to grips with the concept of stillborn children, and I am certain that such new theory is very much needed. Furthermore, based on these insights, it is necessary to clarify where the problem of stillborn children lies in Japan and to give suggestions about how to solve it from the point of view of ethics.

The ultimate aim of this book is to reveal the phenomenon of "fetuses who are going to die" as vivid living beings though it may seem paradoxical. As our attempt is one that entails verbalizing beings that are not verbalized yet, our discussion cannot but become a difficult one to comprehend. And what I have to say in advance is that the main aim of this book is not to grasp what these "fetuses who are going to die" really are, but to elucidate the problems, which end up being treated as nonexistent along with the social mechanisms hiding the existence of such fetuses. I would feel that my work is done if, in the course of these pursuits, I can make at least a small contribution to finding from the viewpoint of bioethics the clues to what mechanisms of the modern society trick us into believing that "fetuses who are going to die" do not exist.

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