In her argument, she claims that these traits are the only way one can be considered a person and until these traits are acquired, a human being is not considered a person of moral standing. But, Thomson would say, this makes no difference: I have the right to eject an innocent person from my home, if that person falls through my window. Assuming that the fetus is a person, we found that abortion is permissible in the vast majority of cases: cases where the pregnant woman's life is endangered, cases where the pregnancy was due to rape, cases where contraception failed, and, perhaps! What properties should you base your criteria on? Therefore, having the genetic make-up of a human only proves one to be a member of the species, not that he or she is a member of the moral community, to which moral rights apply. How do you determine who has a higher moral status. As moral patients, humans are normally considered to have moral rights — the right not to be harmed by others, for instance. As technological advances in neonatal care occur, it is possible that the point at which a fetus is viable may change.
They argue that abortion is morally wrong, and recognize that it is the taking of innocent human life. Overall, Mary Anne Warren proposes a strong argument for personhood in favor of abortion. Surely he has the right to escape and refuse these potential persons his clones life. As the viability of a fetus depends on the technologies available in a certain society, it cannot be considered a reliable criterion for indicating the change of moral status of a fetus either. As stated above, the ensoulment is a crucial starting point for those holding a conservative position. Many variations on the above are possible. Socioeconomic Status and Child Development.
Furthermore, even if an infant is considered to be adoptable e. But the moral distinction remains, and it has several important consequences. Those against abortion argue by making the opposite claim; that the unborn child, because it is a developing human being, possesses a moral status because of its human existence; and that would clearly trump any rationale offered for its willful destruction. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you. The music lovers say you must remain attached to the violinist, and therefore virtually incapacitated, for nine months. Thus, he recognizes the inherent contradiction that marks the position held by millions of Americans. Ethics Chapter 3 Defining the moral status As time passes medicine and the healthcare system has greatly improved the life expectancy of mankind, and more options present themselves, they also come a price as to which is the right choice to make.
The needless destruction of a viable infant inevitably deprives some person or persons of a source of great pleasure and satisfaction, perhaps severely impoverishing their lives. Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of Teenage Pregnancy. Moreover, they might see nothing immoral with taking life exclusively in the biological sense, although they would consider taking life in the psychological sense morally unacceptable. Over 30 years after Roe v. The genetic humanity standard can be regarded as both too broad and too restrictive, however.
It makes the important distinction between the moral and genetic sense of being human, which should be taken into consideration by both pro-life and pro-choice supporters; however, there are certainly some problematic implications to be addressed, in terms of humans who lack personhood but are also no longer fetuses e. The second is more philosophical and asks questions on how to interpret data. In the interim four to five weeks , organ systems begin to develop, and the embryo takes on distinctly human external features. But suggesting that a conscientious refusal is unethical for these reasons presupposes that the action being refused is an ethical one. In answering the first question, we need not attempt a detailed consideration of the moral rights of organisms which are not developed enough, aware enough, intelligent enough, etc.
At around 15 — 20 weeks gestation, women are given the option to undergo an amniocentesis. Moreover, killing any non-human animal would also be permissible. At this point it may be objected: getting pregnant due to voluntary, unprotected sex is not like having a person stumble into your home or fall through your window. Does this mean that it has no right to life? So Marquis thinks he has pinpointed why abortion is wrong. Still, we do not need to insist that a potential person has no right to life whatever. Arguments for this view Arguments against this view Development from a fertilized egg into to baby is a continuous process and any attempt to pinpoint when personhood begins is arbitrary.
And it seems reasonable to conclude that the rights of a woman will outweigh by a similar margin whatever right to life a fetus may have by virtue of its potential personhood. We would probably have to admit that our conceptual schemes were indeed irreconcilably different, and that our dispute could not be settled objectively. At one extreme of the personhood debate is the position that personhood begins at fertilization, so even very early embryos, composed of only a few cells, are persons. There have been views from individuals in certain religious groups that feel like a child is a gift from god and should not be killed do to the lack of responsibility of the parent. Tooley and Warren both explicitly reject the view that the mere potential to become a person gives the fetus any moral standing.
Unfertilised ovum are also lost through In Vitro Fertilisation procedures and scientific research. The genetic humanity standard can also be regarded as too restrictive because it excludes from the possibility of personhood all nonhuman beings, including some that may warrant the moral status of rights-bearers. Therefore, from the moment a newly fertilized human ovum appears it should be treated as a person irrelevant to its stage of development. Beckwith resolutely refuses to shift his argument from the moral status of the fetus. Occasionally, the zygote ends its journey in the fallopian tube, where it continues to develop. A scenario like an would suggest that we abort the fetus and save the mother. In considering the moral status of the fetus, one should therefore also consider additional problematic factors, such as rape, particularly.
In this paper I will be arguing for the first premise in the argument stated above. We focus on the ethical arguments and underlying issues rather than on political considerations that might also be involved. Further, it would entail making reference to a particular conception of personhood that excludes the fetus, such as the one offered by Giubilini and Minerva, the authors of the article in favor of after-birth abortion. It does seem reasonable to suggest that the more like a person, in the relevant respects, a being is, the stronger is the case for regarding it as having a right to life, and indeed the stronger its right to life is. People hold views about the morality of abortion for various reasons, some political or emotional. Third, she returns to the doctor's office two weeks later to make sure the pregnancy is terminated and her uterus is free of the fetal tissue.
Here the whole gamut of conditions involving the pregnancy must be evaluated, including rape, incest, fetal deformity, and of course physical and psychological harm to the woman. Her argument has the advantage over Thomson's of being quite straightforward, even though some found her conclusions to be morally unpalatable. For this threat, if it is a threat, can be better met by educating people to the kinds of moral distinctions which we are making here than by limiting access to abortion which limitation may, in its disregard for the rights of women, be just as damaging to the level of respect for human rights. But even if a potential person does have some prima facie right to life, such a right could not possibly outweigh the right of a woman to obtain an abortion, since the rights of any actual person invariably outweigh those of any potential person, whenever the two conflict. It might help, for instance, if the natural parents of adopted children could at least receive some information about their progress, without necessarily being informed of the identity of the adopting family.