This is exactly what I've been speaking to, STO. And that, to me at least, it seems as if Doc is A-OK with the courts determining when viability is as opposed to the physicians. I've seen him say the determination will always rest with the physicians, but if artificial surfactant and artificial womb become the norm, then based on the legal use of viability, it seems as if the courts are determining it, not the physicians.<quoted text>
This whole disagreement over viability has really gotten down to splitting hairs, imo.
I'll say you are right regarding the strict legal definition. Thus, "viable" does include with ALS.
Your issue is with the phrase "reach viability", and when you apply the strict legal definition, I agree, there is no room for "reach viability". A physician has to have some benchmark to gain permission to use whatever resources are available to help the infant hopefully survive. I'm guessing that is why there is a legal definition. Without it, insurance companies may be making that determination, instead of the MD.
I use the phrase "reach viability", not in the legal sense, but in medical reality. The medical reality is probably often unknown to the experts when they deem an infant "viable". For example, their opinion may rest upon the resources available given one medical facility as opposed to another. Say, an infant is delivered in an ambulance 20 miles away from the local country hospital that is not equipped to treat a severely premature infant. They may say that infant is not viable. But delivered at a faciility that specializes in severely premature infants, they may say that infant is viable.
Back to the hypothetical, artifical womb. A fetus at 10 weeks is not viable in a woman's womb, and tho it can be deemed legally viable if there is a chance to successfully move it from natural womb to artifical womb, it really is not viable in the sense it can survive without A womb. Thus, I would say it needs to be in that natural or artifical womb to "reach viability" -- to survive outside of the necessary environment which will bring it to the point of needing no medical assistance.
So, I see both sides. Strict legal definition enables the MD to do whatever is possible to give that infant a shot. But the legal definition does not necessarily speak to the medical reality (often unknown), which may be better described as potentially viable.
Your post to Doc is very interesting and I look forward to how he responds.