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Early Pregnancy Wastage: Ethical Considerations

Benagiano, Giuseppe; Mori, Maurizio; Ford, Norman and Grudzinskas, Gedis (2011) Early Pregnancy Wastage: Ethical Considerations. Ethics, Bioscience & Life, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 22 (7). pp. 692-700. ISSN 1472-6483

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Abstract

Information on early embryo wastage is relevant for debating the status of human embryos. Two main points of view confront each other. Theists hold that human embryos should be treated as human persons from the moment of conception because, even accepting that human beings are the fruit of evolution, they are part of a divine project. Without a developmental event prior to which the human embryo could not be considered a human being, embryos should be regarded as if they were human subjects. After all, if one believes in the resurrection of the dead, it makes no difference at what stage one's life ends. Secularists oppose the idea of granting absolute value to human life from its beginning because early human embryos lack individuality and sentience. Personifying embryos is morally absurd because it would mean that countless human beings never had even the slightest chance to express their potential and, in the light of this catastrophic loss, one would expect early pregnancy waste to have become an important research priority; this is not the case. In practical terms, most Western countries have legalized first-trimester abortion, de facto giving embryos a lower status than that of the full person.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: emryonic loss, individuality, personhood, sentience
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220101 Bioethics (human and animal)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220103 Ethical Use of New Technology (e.g. Nanotechnology, Biotechnology)
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220199 Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950401 Bioethics
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: D - Ethics / Moral Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Users 157 not found.
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2012 03:16
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 00:59
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1064

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