Abortion: personhood

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  • Created by: Sue
  • Created on: 18-01-14 14:06
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  • Abortion: When does the foetus become a person?
    • at Conception
      • Problems
        • At this stage even a sardine is higher functioning but we do not call it a person
          • not a person now so definition is refutes.
          • potential people dont have same rights e.g: potential corpse shouldn't be buried.
          • Each sperm would be potential person which would lead to mass murder when each one was wasted.
        • unlike a sardine a person is potentially higher functioning= potential person
        • Foetus has a soul
          • define soul: complex idea of immaterial entity+ material
    • Human Shape
      • Problems
        • being a person involves mental qualities to makes decisions
        • Not sufficient condition. An alien may have a human form but it is not a 'person'
      • 8 weeks
    • Sentient (feel)
      • Problems
        • not sufficient because a rabbit can feel and is not a person
        • Not necessary e.g: people under anesthetic who cannot feel do not cease to be people
    • Viable (can survive)
      • Problem
        • children born where incubators available would be classed as people. Machines are not what provide person-hood.
    • at Birth
      • Problems
        • #counter intuitive: right to abort 8 month foetus unborn but wrong to kill 7 month foetus born early
        • Person-hood does not rely on geography and location inside or outside the womb
  • at Conception
    • Problems
      • At this stage even a sardine is higher functioning but we do not call it a person
        • not a person now so definition is refutes.
        • potential people dont have same rights e.g: potential corpse shouldn't be buried.
        • Each sperm would be potential person which would lead to mass murder when each one was wasted.
      • unlike a sardine a person is potentially higher functioning= potential person
      • Foetus has a soul
        • define soul: complex idea of immaterial entity+ material
  • Reasons for Abortion:
    • condition of foeatus e.g: anencephaly (brainless)
    • Mothers condition e.g: underage, helath risk
    • others: e.g: career, holliday
    • Cause: Contraceptive failure, rape

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