Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points

Mary Briody Mahowald

in Bioethics and Women

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195176179
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786558 | DOI:
  Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points

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Terms crucial to bioethical debate are examined: these include life, death, human, person, moral status, and moral agency. The moral relevance of the gestational tie between a woman and her fetus as well as other relationships is discussed. In light of their relevance to ethical decisions after birth as well as prior to birth, different positions on moral status or personhood are considered. These range from the view that full moral status occurs through union of human egg and sperm to the view that it requires the ability to make moral decisions, a capacity lacking in infants and adults who are comatose.

Keywords: human life; death; person; moral status; moral agency; fetus; birth; comatose; relationships; standpoint

Chapter.  10804 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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