Having a Life Versus Being Alive
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1984 Mar; 10(1): 5-8.
The author contends that the development of a functioning fetal brain provides the most reasonable demarcation of the beginning of human life for purposes of determining the moral status of the fetus. She bases her argument first on the connection between brain activity and the possibility of consciousness, and then on the connection between consciousness and the moral value of the lives of persons as distinct from biological life in general. She also applies this distinction to the public policy debate regarding abortion and related issues, such as experimentation on human embryos. (KIE abstract)