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  • Created by: Stephkyte
  • Created on: 06-05-16 16:58
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    • The Start of Human Life
      • Fetus: The unborn baby from the end of the eighth week after conception (when the major structures have formed) until birth.
        • If a fetus is not a human being then it may not have the same rights as a fully independent human being and need not have the same kind of protection in law.
      • The initial problem of Abortion is establishing the fact of 'when does human life start'.
        • There are many different explanations; such as biological, philosophical or religious.
      • If Human life begins at conception then, in theory, a fetus should have the same rights afforded to a fully independent human being in law.
      • If this is the case, is the point at which human rights for it may begin the point at which a fetus becomes human during pregnancy.
      • If the point at which a fetus becomes human during pregnancy, then this could lead to a conflict of rights between the mother and the unborn child
    • Biological debates
      • Depend on physical evidence to understand the status of the fetus.
      • When does Human Life start?
        • Birth: Applied at actual physical birth, independence and individuality.
        • Viability: Unborn can exist without dependence on the mother.
        • Potentiality: Implies enity displays the poetential of becoming a human being' Primitive Streak or the Quickening.
          • Primitive Streak: Is discernible after the fourteenth day in the development of the fetus and it is this that becomes the spinal cord.
          • Quickening: This is a traditional understanding that the status of personhood can be applied when the 'child' is first felt to move.
        • Conception: From the point of fertilisation of the egg (conception) the resulting product is a human being.
    • Philosophical and religious debates
      • Based on concepts or principles beyond the physical evidence, that is, metaphysical issues.
      • Consciousness: The status of personhood is applied at the first point of consciousness or awareness.
      • Ensoulment: The status of personhood is deemed appropriate when the soul enters the body.
      • Continuity: Life must begin when the potential life as an individual entity is recognisable, which is the zygote at conception.
      • Different stages for different humans?
        • There is a clear disparity in the development of an individual. Broad timescale in which people mature, develop and grow as well a the nature of the individual.
        • Moves from adolescence to adulthood, childhood to puberty. Why are the early stages of development any different.
    • The value of potential life: different views.
      • At which point potential human life acquires such value as to make abortion an ethical injustice.
      • The sanctity of life, which is the belief that laife is in some way sacred or holy, traditionally understood as being given by God.
      • The philosopher Kant gives the idea of the sanctity of life a non-religious perspective based on piurely ethical grounds.
      • Philosophers such as Peter Singer have long called for the shift from talking about the sanctity of life towards a more universal discussion about the value of life. Singer does not create a ring fence around humanity, but instead talks about the value of all living things.
      • Some scientists would argue the, although the fetus does not have person status or human rights and is purely a part of the process of survival of the fittest, this does not mean it has no value. It is the process of evolution and the fetus' place within it - whether it survives or not - that gives the fetus its value.
      • Tony Hope, Professor of medical ethics, in his books, Medical Ethics and Law, raises an important point about the interests of a potential child when dealing woth assisted reproduction: 'One response... is to deny that it is meaningful to talk of the best interests of a potential child, or to compare life in any state, with existing.; I


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