fetus as person
apland at mala.bc.ca
Wed Feb 19 11:28:37 EST 1997
> I initially thought this a rather far-fetched and strained argument until
> I read his next point, which was:
> "The trophoblastic parts of the conceptus are alive, are human, and the
> cells have the same genetic composition as the zygote, fetus, and baby.
> If any or all of these criteria were used to define personhood in
> constructing the argument for a legislated assertion that the zygote and
> its derivates are a person, then the practice of cutting the cord,
> interrupting blood supply to the placenta, and letting the expelled
> placenta die would become murder in the eyes of the law".
I think I'm still with your initial thought although I must admit the
arugument is interesting. The placenta and other supporting tissues
are no different than any other tissue system whether it be a tooth,
a membrane, an organ, or a limb. The loss of any of these is not considered
the death of a person because they are not what we define as a person
in law or in common sense. While I admire the effort to find some
biological definition of "person" I don't think one will be found. Its
a legal definition based on the values of the society responsible for
the legal system. As such it will always be open to criticism by others
with a different value system.
More information about the Neur-sci