David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics 16 (2):182-217 (2012)
At present UK Law states that the unborn child only becomes a legal person invested with legal rights and full protections, like other human persons, at birth. This article critiques the present legal position of setting the threshold for legal personality at birth, showing its inconsistencies and fundamentally pragmatic basis. Against this background, it is argued that a principled approach towards unborn life is necessary, which reflects in law the reality that the unborn child is a type of human person deserving protection as it develops through the continuum of human personhood – from embryonic personhood, to infant personhood and ultimately into adult personhood. Human personhood is defined as a union of a material and immaterial self, meaning that at every stage of their development they are never a “potential person,” but rather a “person with potential” even if it is not actualized through miscarriage, premature death, or disability. This moral and philosophical reasoning is what justifies protecting the sanctity of unborn life in law. The rest of the article explores and critiques the alternative static legal threshold for ascribing legal personality, at conception, implantation and viability. Having considered the practical moral, legal and philosophical problems of these alternatives; the final proposal for law reform combines all three of these thresholds in a proposal for a “dynamic” threshold for legal personality commencing at conception, which would render birth as an irrelevant threshold for moral and legal reasoning about the unborn
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Elena Pribytkova (2009). Personality, Person, Subject in Russian Legal Philosophy at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Studies in East European Thought 61 (2/3):209 - 220.
David T. Ritchie (2008). Mastering Legal Analysis and Communication. Carolina Academic Press.
James Boyle (ed.) (1992). Critical Legal Studies. New York University Press.
F. Atria (1999). Legal Reasoning and Legal Theory Revisited. Law and Philosophy 18 (5):537-577.
Timothy F. Murphy (2012). The Afterlife of Embryonic Persons: What a Strange Place Heaven Must Be. Reproductive Biomedicine Online 25:684-688.
Pavlos Eleftheriadis (2008). Legal Rights. Oxford University Press.
James R. Maxeiner, The Rules of Law in the Reform of Legal Education: Teaching the Legal Mind in Japanese Law Schools.
John Linarelli (2009). Analytical Jurisprudence and the Concept of Commercial Law. Penn State Law Review 114 (1):119-215.
Neil MacCormick (2007). Institutions of Law: An Essay in Legal Theory. Oxford University Press.
Aulis Aarnio (1978). Legal Point of View: Six Essays on Legal Philosophy. Helsingin Yliopisto.
J. W. Harris, Timothy Andrew Orville Endicott, Joshua Getzler & Edwin Peel (eds.) (2006). Properties of Law: Essays in Honour of Jim Harris. Oxford University Press.
Andreas Wagner (2011). Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili on the Legal Character of the Global Commonwealth. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 31 (3):565-582.
Added to index2012-02-20
Total downloads22 ( #112,536 of 1,696,625 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #250,163 of 1,696,625 )
How can I increase my downloads?