Early Pregnancy Wastage: Ethical Considerations
Reproductive biomedicine online 2011 Jun; 22(7): 692-700
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 wastage 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 full person.
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Robertson, John; Benagiano, Guiseppe; Edwards, Robert; Golombok, Susan; Harris, John; Lockwood, Michael; Savulescu, Julian; Brinsden, Peter; Holm, Søren; Bortolotti, Lisa; Short, Rober; Te Velde, Egbert; Galton, David; White, Gladys; Grudzinskas, Gedis; Albert, Bill; Landau, Ruth; McLaren, Anne (2005-03)
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Prenatal Diagnosis Today. The Current Ethical Controversy over Reproductive Medicine: Prenatal Diagnosis; The Morality of Prenatal Diagnosis; Society Must Decide about Prenatal Diagnosis Mori, Maurizio; Brambati, Bruno; Tului, Lucia; Gordon, Jon W.; Schafer, D.; Arnemann, J.; Brude, E.; Baumann, R. (1995-04)