October 17, 2007

Alive and a Life

But embryos and children are patently not the same and the law should not treat them as such.
The above is stated at the Women's Bioethics blog, of the Women's Bioethics Project. Assertions like this are tossed about without explanation, and this quote certainly deserves a bit more attention. It's actually an idea taken from an article "Sex, Lies, and Embryos." An interesting piece, it questions laws in Louisiana that provide a legal status to embryos that is equivalent to that of a born person.

I'm struck by the use of the term "patently" in this quote, however. This isn't an argument from science, rather it's an appeal to what they hope is the common view among Americans. The term patently refers to that which is obvious or plain to see. The only thing that is obvious is the size differential, but that does not speak to the question of the nature of the embryo, merely its size. So the question that has been left unaddressed by this piece is whether the embryo is a life - a person. We know that embryos can be alive or dead, because researchers are not interested in dead embryos as they are useless. Something that also deserves differentiation is the difference between pregnancy and conception, and pregnancy isn't a prerequiste to the existence of a living embryo.

1 comment:

Christine Gates said...

Life and marriage are the foundation of a successful and stable society. I know some great, but still secret, news about a new Religious Right candidate.

I know for a fact that on Nov. 1st, a new candidate for the Presidency of the United States will be making his announcement. This candidate will present himself OVER THE INTERNET. You will receive information on where to tune in to catch his announcement.

The candidate’s watch words are – God – Country – Family. The candidate has had a very successful alliance with the Right to Life movement. This could be the candidate that the Religious Right can stand behind and promote.