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On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion Warren Summary

27. For a skeptical presentation of personality as a necessary condition for moral status, see Ohlin JD. Is the concept of person necessary for human rights? Columbia Law Review 2005;105:209–49. At the same time, she also mentioned that the position of the fetus in relation to ontology must be addressed in order to make a judgment on the legality of abortion (Warren 46). In the second section, the author of the article addressed the question of whether a moral community could be defined and whether a human fetus could become a member of that community. This led Warren to two other philosophical questions: What is a human being in genetic terms and what is a human being in moral terms? As a result, to be a person, one must meet at least one of these criteria, but fetuses repeatedly fail to do so for understandable reasons (Warren 47). 37. In response to strong criticism, Warren sought to remove some of these implications from later work. In particular, in her 1982 postscript to MLSA and her subsequent book Moral Status (1997), she attempts to find a place for infants, PVS patients, people with advanced dementia, and the mentally handicapped in her multi-criteria account of moral status. In particular, it emphasizes (1) possessing the « lowest level » of sensitivity as sufficient for moral status, (2) being an « object of empathy » for those « who care, » and possibly being part of one (3) « community of care. » The difficulty for Warren, however, is that unborn fetuses should also be granted moral status and accepted into the moral community, since they meet exactly these moral status criteria.

And yet, if Warren were to recognize this, then his entire defense of abortion rights would dissolve. See also Card, R. Infanticide and the liberal vision of abortion. Bioethics 2000;14:340–51CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed. Warren applied objective measures to this moral dilemma, concluding that a fetus could not be considered a person (47). This led them to two other questions: Do probable individuals have a right to life and what do you need to do to have a right to life? 39. Those implications have been expressly defended, in particular by Michael Tooley and Peter Singer. See Tooley, M.

Abortion and infanticide. Philosophy & Public Affairs 1972;2:37–65 Google Scholar and Singer, P. Discussion infanticide. Journal of Medical Ethics 2013;39:260 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed. See also Warren`s later essay « The Moral Significance of Birth » on this point, in which she attempts to argue for childbirth because it marks a pivotal moment in which some kind of moral status is conferred. See Warren, MA. The moral significance of birth. Hypatia 1989;4:46–65 CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Significantly, in her 1982 Postscript and Moral Status, Warren does not consider the killing of newborns to be murder because of its impersonal status and continues to defend infanticide as being in principle compatible with what she calls the « principle of human rights. » Finally, she insists that « a tolerant attitude towards homicide in early childhood is kinder and fairer than persecuting parents who choose it as a lesser evil. » See note 3, Warren 1997, p. 165. 5. See Beauchamp, TL.

The failure of personality theories. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1999;9:309–24CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Nelson, L, Meyer, M. Confronting deep disagreements: The President`s Council on Bioethics, Moral Status and Human Embryos. American Journal of Bioethics 2005;5:33–42 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; and Beckwith, F, Thornton, AK. The moral status and architects of the principle. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2020;45:504–20CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed. 1. Warren, MA. On the moral and legal status of abortion. The Monist 1973;57:43–61 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

Cited below as MLSA. Warren`s article has since been anthologized hundreds of times and is frequently used in courses in ethical theory, bioethics, and applied ethics. Notably, it has been cited at least 627 times by 2021. See, for example, Warren MA. On the moral and legal status of abortion. In: Cahn, S, ed. Exploring Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press; 2009 Google Scholar. I will show that the fetus is not a person and is therefore not worthy of all moral rights.

Most anti-abortion arguments do not, but rather defend abortion by 1) highlighting the negative consequences of restricting access; or 2) claim that the woman controls her body. 17. The literature on animal rights is extensive. Some of the best studies are: Beauchamp, TL, DeGrazia, D. Principles of Animal Research Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press; Google Scholar 2019; DeGrazia, D. Taking Animals Seriously: Spiritual Life and Moral Status. Cambridge: Cambridge Press; 1996 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Frey, RG. Interests and rights: the case against animals. Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1980 Google Scholar; Lindsay, RL. Slaves, embryos and nonhuman animals: moral status and limits of common moral theory.

Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2005;15:323–46CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Beauchamp, TL, Frey, RG, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press; 2011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at Kap. 1–4; Nozick, R. Do animals have rights? In: Sokratische Rätsel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1997: 303-10Google Scholar; O`Neill, O. Kant on the duties relating to the non-rational nature. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary 1998;72:211–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Regan, T.

Animal rights advocacy. Berkeley, California: University of California Press; 2004 Google Scholar. First, it may be helpful to turn to the most obvious answer. The effect on the victim of a crime that ends in the loss of the victim`s life (in this context, abortion also counts) can be considered bad in the first place when it comes to killing someone. The loss of life is the greatest evil for a living being because it deprives a fetus of future experiences and activities. In order not to mislead the reader, the author of this essay wants to contradict the fact that it is not the biological condition that makes it bad to kill a fetus. It is the will to go beyond the value of the future of the fetus and do everything that is according to one`s personal preferences. Even if a fetus does not see the value of its future, it still deserves to grow old and understand all its essential virtues. In this regard, abortion can be seen as a direct refusal in order to give the fetus the opportunity to become a person and become a valuable asset to society. Ignoring the future value of a fetus that will become a person makes abortion bad. To be a person, you must meet at least 2 or 3 of their criteria – but fetuses do not meet any of them. A fetus is not a person according to an objective standard, and therefore not a member of the moral community.

The key issue raised by Warren was the status of a particular fetus and whether it made it a person. The idea was that even if the fetus had rights, it could not overturn a woman`s rights (Warren 44). In the first part of her argument, she tried to convince the reader that the fetus may not have a right to life. This led her to hypothesize that abortion is allowed. Section 2 – The question is: « How should we define the moral community, the set of beings with full and equal moral rights, so that we can decide whether a human fetus is a member of that community or not? » Two questions arise: 1) What is a human being (genetic sense of man) and 2) What is a human being (moral sense of man)? Section 1 – She argues that we cannot conclusively prove that abortion is permitted if the fetus has a right to life. Thomson`s argument fails to the extent that the opponent of abortion can argue that one is responsible for the child, except in cases of rape. If we change the story of the violinist – who, in Thomson`s story, binds himself to a woman`s body to save her life – it seems that we are still obliged to save the violinist. Therefore, we must deal with the ontological status of the fetus. 11. See Lee, P. The pro-life argument of substantial identity.

Bioethics 2004;18:249–63CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; George, RP, Gomez-Lobo, A.

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