Is the foetus a person? – Notes are taken from internet sites such as Yahoo answers and my own knowledge
Yes it is because…
- Life begins at conception – and ‘the body is the temple is the temple of the holy spirit’
- Judge – who is to judge what a ‘person’ is
- Self- conscious – “Babies Remember Birth,” David Chamberlain, Ph.D., indicates there are pre-birth memories, indicating individuality.
- Size – A six-foot woman on life-support is a person; a six-inch foetus girl on life support is a person. Degree of energy-independence is not a determining factor.
- Location – A six-foot woman in a room or in Yosemite camping is a person; a fetal girl in a womb is a person. Location is not a determining factor of personhood.
- Age – A 60-year-old woman is a person; a fetal girl of six prenatal months is a person. Age is not a determining factor of personhood.
No it is not because…
- Birth marks the beginning of a true person because if you think that in the Genesis man was nothing until God gave a breath of life and so a baby is not a living human until it is born.
- Personhood – the embryo/foetus does not have the seven criteria which gives it equal rights as the mother (rationality, self-awareness, ability to act intentionally, biographical considerations as opposed to biological considerations, ability to establish relationships, sentience, ability to communicate)
- Rights – Whose rights are more important those of the mother or the embryo – a real person vs a potential person
- Ectopic pregnancies and disabilities – double effect because the mother is not only at risk and suffers extreme pain the foetus is likely to never develop into a full and proper human being so why keep the pregnancy?
- Image of God – God is said to be the giver and take of life and if we are made in the image of God shouldn’t we be allowed to do the same.
- Viability – The embryo isn’t even viable till 24-weeks so how this embryo who relies on the mother have greater rights than the mother.
- Ensoulment – Many including theologians like St Augustine believe that when the embryo ‘quicks’ i.e. starts to move (which is at about 16/17 weeks) the embryo has been ensouled so before that the embryo is just another animal.
- Peter Singer – He believes that a human being is a “person” weeks after birth and a shrimp’s life is more important than a foetus.
- Aboriginal people – They believe it is only a person once it is named.