Document Detail


Viability and the moral status of the fetus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  3849416     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The viability of the fetus has played a significant part in the framing of abortion legislation, but the use of viability as a criterion represents a compromise which is conceptually unclear and which fails to satisfy either side in the abortion debate. Both conservative and liberal views on abortion regard fetal development as morally irrelevant. For the moderate (or gradualist) view some point in the development must be found which indicates a change in the moral status of the fetus. Since viability changes according to available techniques for neonatal care it cannot be the criterion. Alternative criteria are surveyed and it is concluded that the onset of sensation is a significant transition point beyond which abortion and infanticide cannot be morally distinguished. It is suggested that either legislation should be amended to prohibit abortion after 18 to 20 weeks, or abortion to full term should be permitted and the possibility of legislation for infanticide be envisaged.
Authors:
A V Campbell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ciba Foundation symposium     Volume:  115     ISSN:  0300-5208     ISO Abbreviation:  Ciba Found. Symp.     Publication Date:  1985  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1985-10-10     Completed Date:  1985-10-10     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0356636     Medline TA:  Ciba Found Symp     Country:  NETHERLANDS    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  228-43     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Abortion, Induced*
Ethics, Medical
Female
Fetal Viability*
Gestational Age
Homicide
Humans
Morals*
Pregnancy

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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