Moral status of the foetus

Three primary views of personhood exist: Such a view seems to treat animals, infants, and severely cognitively impaired humans, all of whom exhibit only parts of rational nature, as morally on a par with each other and Moral status of the foetus unimpaired adult humans.

He argued that we have reasons to avoid cruelty to animals, and thus to treat animals better than their lack of moral status implies, since otherwise we might develop psychological propensities that could lead us analogously to mistreat humans who have FMS Kant [LE], pp.

Naturalness, that is, being unaltered by humans, has also been proposed as itself a ground of intrinsic value, and so as grounding at least some degree of moral status Elliotp. Wherever one thinks the truth lies, however, the debate on abortion would be enhanced by abandoning the idea that a moral transformation takes place in the foetus at the point when it is able to survive outside of the womb.

Cambridge University Press, pp. So clearly here, the fetus has a moral state, even to the victim. Failure to treat infants as having FMS might lead to a lack of tenderness toward them, and thereby contribute to their turning into people who will mistreat us when they are older Feinbergp.

Yet wolves, sentient and highly intelligent animals, mate for life, love their offspring and that of others, work cooperatively with other wolves, never kill for sport, and often share food.

In his book, Interests and Rights, Raymond Gillespie Frey argues that only humans can have interests, because interests presuppose beliefs, and beliefs require complex language use, a singularly human capacity. However, the threshold conception would nevertheless leave it open whether having some other feature, such as the mere capacity to have preferences, might be grounds for a lesser degree of moral status.

The key background conditions are: According to Engelhardt, although newborns do not possess an intrinsic right to life, high moral status is "imputed" to them because of their vital social and cultural role. The motivation for this version of the Special Relationship account comes from thinking about the species relationship as analogous to other relationships biological, social, etc.

Viability and the moral status of the fetus.

However, this issue is addressed extensively by some views that take sophisticated cognitive capacities, especially the capacity for autonomy, to ground FMS, and also by some views that take rudimentary cognitive capacities, such as sentience, to ground some moral status.

Imagine that in the future air quality deteriorates so that foetuses born before 28 weeks almost never survive. After implantation in a young woman, if development is normal, an embryo will likely grow to adulthood. University of California Press. These potentiality accounts, like the accounts in 5.

This assumption is common, among both those who want to reduce, and those who want to retain, the current abortion time limit.

Interests, Animal Rights, and Environmental Ethics. In this section, we will discuss what having FMS amounts to — a notion key to many non-utilitarian accounts of moral status. Other views are silent on this question and compatible with lower degrees of moral status for beings or entities that are not cognitively sophisticated.

Some philosophers have, as a result, questioned or even abandoned this seemingly commonsense view, including the aspect that holds that all adult cognitively unimpaired human beings have FMS see the end of section 4.

The Grounds of Moral Status

We were going to accept Josh however he was. Of course, the moral status of the newly diagnosed Alzheimer patient is very high, but what of the individual with severe Alzheimer disease?

If a moral line cannot be drawn between humans and all other animals, and if even amoebas may possibly be primitively sentient, are we to consider allspecies of animal life sentient? Does each entity have moral status? Max Oelschlaeger, editor of Postmodern Environmental Ethicsperceives a "linguistic turn" in contemporary ethical reflection.If the moral obligation is to the future person and not to the fetus itself, then the ACOG can state, on the one hand, that the elective termination of fetal life is licit, and, on the other hand, that if the fetus is not to be terminated, then the physician and pregnant woman have a moral obligation to the future person (that the fetus will become) to promote the well-being of the fetus now.

The Grounds of Moral Status

So the argument will continue between the groups trying to legalize abortion and the ones against it. The abortion rights activists will continue to claim that fetuses have no moral status; and pro-life groups will continue to claim that the unborn child has a moral status because it is a developing human being.

The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child. “Those choosing legalization of abortion will argue that the developing fetus lacks a moral status that would trump a woman’s desire to abort the child. The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child.

“Those choosing legalization of abortion will argue that the developing fetus lacks a moral status that would trump a woman’s desire to abort the child. Viability and the moral status of the fetus. Campbell AV. The viability of the fetus has played a significant part in the framing of abortion legislation, but the use of viability as a criterion represents a compromise which is conceptually unclear and which fails to satisfy either side in the abortion debate.

Distinguishing and elevating the moral status of cognitively unimpaired adult humans compared to other animals thus comes at the price of denying that all cognitively unimpaired adult humans have equal moral status. 5. Grounds of Moral Status. Accounts differ on what it is about the individual that grounds or confers moral status and to what degree.

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Moral status of the foetus
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