Human non-persons, feticide, and the erosion of dignity

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (4):353-364 (2010)
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Feticide, the practice of terminating the life of an otherwise viable fetus in utero, has become an increasingly common practice in obstetric centres around the globe, a concomitant of antenatal screening technologies. This paper examines this expanding practice in light of the concept of human dignity. Although it is assumed from the outset that even viable human fetuses are not persons and as such do not enjoy full membership in the moral community, it is argued that the fact that these are nevertheless human fetuses affords them prima facie moral status. Thus even those who accept a liberal position with regard to therapeutic abortion, should be concerned about these more recent developments. Indeed, how we treat viable human fetuses has implications for our prospective treatment of other human non-persons and could undermine the common human dignity we all share



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Citations of this work

Early Pregnancy Losses: Multiple Meanings and Moral Considerations.Amy Mullin - 2015 - Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (1):27-43.

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References found in this work

The Future of Human Nature.Jürgen Habermas - 2003 - Cambridge, UK: Polity. Edited by Jürgen Habermas.
Reason and morality.Alan Gewirth - 1978 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The Future of Human Nature.Jürgen Habermas - 2003 - Cambridge, UK: Polity. Edited by Jürgen Habermas.

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