Respecting life - Respecting Human Life in 21st Century America A Moral Perspective To Extend Civil Rights to the Unborn from Creation to Natural Death

Respecting life - Respecting Human Life in 21st Century...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 49 pages.

211 Respecting Human Life in 21 st Century America: A Moral Perspective To Extend Civil Rights to the Unborn from Creation to Natural Death Charles I. Lugosi, LL.B., LL.M., M.B.E. * I. Introduction What does respect for human life in the Twenty-first Century require of us? When we consider the controversial bioethical debates between those who believe in the sanctity of life of the “unborn,” 1 and those who do not, it may require ex- panding our concept of what counts as human life. The Supreme Court has failed to take a position on when human life begins. How can law respect human life without understanding when a new human life is created? In addressing the question of whether the unborn human being is a “person,” I contend there should be no distinctions in law and philosophy between human beings and persons and that human beings are endowed at creation with an in- alienable right to life. This inalienable natural right cannot be conferred because it is the common heritage of all human beings that we all are created equal. The * Assistant Professor of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami, Florida; LL.B. Univer- sity of Western Ontario, 1979; LL.M. University of Pennsylvania, 2001; Masters of Bioethics (M.B.E.) University of Pennsylvania, 2002; Candidate for S.J.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2005; Barrister and Solicitor, Admitted to the Bars of Ontario (1981) and British Columbia (1982). I wish to thank Rory Leishman, Harry Stevenson, my colleague, Professor June Mary Makdisi, and Professor Anita Allen-Castellitto for their very helpful and critical comments on many earlier drafts of this essay. This article is dedicated to my five-year-old daughter Stephanie Anne Veronica, who loves everyone equally with kindness and compassion, and my one-year-old daughter, Elorah Abigail Magdalene, whose happy smile and sense of humor brings joy to all. Reprinted with permission of the Saint Louis University Law Journal © 2004, St. Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri. 1 For the purposes of this article, “unborn” includes the unborn human being from the time of its creation, in or outside of the human body and encompasses all forms of its existence, growth and development, including zygote, pre-embryo, embryo and fetus.
Image of page 1
212 Issues in Law & Medicine, Volume 20, Number 3, 2005 current American constitutional doctrine of classifying the unborn as “separate and unequal” is immoral and unjust. Thus, there is a moral imperative to confer the status of constitutional personhood upon the unborn, as an expression of society’s rejection of inequality and the discriminatory treatment of the unborn as biotech- nological subjects in Twenty-first Century America. This article assumes that it is immoral and unethical to take the life of an innocent human being, even if domestic law sanctions acts such as abortion and contraception. It further assumes that unborn human beings are by their very nature innocent, even if their lives were created because of culpable criminal con- duct, such as rape or incest.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 49 pages?

  • Summer '12
  • JosieSmith

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture