CREATED ON 20th October 2018
COMPLETED ON 21st October 2018
Expert hired: SuperAcademia

Does the fetus or embryo have moral status or not?

The key issue in such heated debates as the one about abortion is whether some entity - like the embryo, or the fetus - has moral status or not. The theories that must be applied in this discussion are: Personhood, Sentience, Environmental, and also an Eclectic Approach for combining theoretical views and criteria. Relevant are also readings on Abortion or the subject that is sometimes called "Maternal-Fetal Conflict." You can find and use sources of your own too, always giving proper citation. Do not quote, write in your own sentences and reserve direct quotation for rare cases in which you need to highlight some specific point that is made very well in the source you are using. Write a 3- page essay (you can write more pages as needed), answering the following questions: 1). Apply the theories of Moral Status to argue as to whether the fetus has or does not have moral status. Realize that the Personhood Theory has a "minimalist" version of "genetic personhood." While the standard Personhood theory clearly excludes the fetus (as it does for the newborn baby and more), the minimalist version of "genetic personhood" may or may not exclude the fetus. You will need to discuss this. 2). Think of the problem of the moral status of the fetus as a threshold problem: when is the beginning or onset of moral status? -- What is challenging about this problem? What criteria may we use for determining beginning of moral status? Are there any criteria that seem obviously good? Present some criteria and think how they can be criticized. If you happen to be in favor of some criterion, present a defense of your criterion. 3). Apply Deontology to the problem of Abortion. Be advised that this is very challenging. Don't be surprised if you can use the theory to support both sides! But also realize that so much depends on what assumptions you make about the moral status of the fetus (see 1 and 2 above.) The two sides in this case are understood to be: a. A woman's moral claim in exercising complete control over her body and reproductive destiny and options; b. a presumed moral claim to life of the fetus (in other words, the issue of the moral status of the fetus - if the fetus has such moral status and why.)
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20 October 2018
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20 October 2018
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21 October 2018
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