Justifying "Wholesale Slaughter"

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):245 - 258 (1975)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In a recent trial in the United States a physician was convicted of manslaughter during the performance of a hysterotomy on a woman pregnant from twenty to twenty eight weeks. Some members of the jury, in their deliberations, were much impressed by seeing a photograph of a fetus of about the same age. The experience apparently provided some jurors with reason to conclude that the fetus which did die during or immediately after the hysterotomy was a human being or a person or, at least, was so like a child that the killing of it was prohibited by the law of homicide. If being a human being is not the same as being a pre-natal progeny of homo sapiens, it is difficult to understand how one could “tell by looking” whether the fetus is a human being. But the sight of a fetus of twenty weeks or longer does, I think, tempt us to think that from a moral standpoint we ought to extend the same treatment to such fetuses, or virtually the same, as we extend to newborn babies and young children. The visual similarities between middle or late stage fetuses and newborn babies is striking.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,031

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Justifying.Donald VanDeVeer - 1975 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):245-258.
Justifying “Wholesale Slaughter”.Donald van de Veer - 1975 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):245-258.
Fetuses, Newborns, and Parental Responsibility.Prabhpal Singh - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (3):188-193.
The Pregnancy Rescue Case: why abortion is immoral.Perry Hendricks - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics 50 (5):332-334.
The Decision to Abort.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2007 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (1):25-41.
The Decision to Abort.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2007 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (1):25-41.
Why Potentiality Matters.Jim Stone - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (4):815-829.
The Morality of Abortion.R. B. Brandt - 1972 - The Monist 56 (4):503-526.


Added to PP

25 (#654,023)

6 months
2 (#1,259,919)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

A. Donald VanDeVeer
North Carolina State University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Understanding the abortion argument.Roger Wertheimer - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):67-95.

Add more references