118 Introduction to the ethics of abortion

118 Introduction to the ethics of abortion - When viable...

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Introduction to the ethics of abortion Basic issue : when, if ever, is abortion permissible. Relevant concepts : Zygote, embryo, fetus Life, human life, human being Person Moral standing or status Rights Special relationships Applying the concepts Moral status What is the moral status of the just fertilized egg? Does moral status change as the fetus develops? Does it change after birth? Human life vs human being Which is the morally significant concept? When does a human being start to exist Possible answers: At conception When the form of a human body first develops (6-10 wks) When organs especially a brain begins to develop (6-10 wks) When consciousness exists (perhaps 6 months) When basically as developed as a newborn (6 mo)
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Unformatted text preview: When viable (6-7 mo) When born Person Is this the same concept as human being ? Any individual that has the same moral standing as we ascribe to normal adult human be beings Any individual who has the mental capacities of human beings Which is the more morally relevant concept: person or human being? Rights What are the rights of the fetus? When are they acquired? When are they violated? What are the rights of the pregnant woman (PW)? How are all these to be balanced? Special relationships What is the moral character of the relationship between PW and fetus? If and when does PW have special responsibilities to the fetus?...
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118 Introduction to the ethics of abortion - When viable...

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