David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Law and Philosophy 2 (2):163 - 191 (1983)
The purpose of this paper is to argue that the tactic of granting a fetus the legal status of a person will not, contrary to the expectations of opponents of abortion, provide grounds for a general prohibition on abortions. I begin by examining two arguments, one moral (J. J. Thomson's A Defense of Abortion) and the other legal (D. Regan's Rewriting Roe v. Wade), which grant the assumption that a fetus is a person and yet argue to the conclusion that abortion is permissible. However, both Thomson and Regan rely on the so-called bad samaritan principle. This principle states that a person has a right to refuse to give aid. Their reliance on this principle creates problems, both in the moral and the legal contexts, since the bad samaritan principle is intended to apply to passive refusals to aid; abortion, however, does not look like any such passive denial of aid, and so it does not seem like the sort of action covered by the bad samaritan principle. In defense of the positions outlined by Thomson and Regan, I argue that the apparent asymmetry between abortion and the usual type of case covered by the bad samaritan principle is only apparent and not a genuine problem for their analyses. I conclude with a defense of the morality of the bad samaritan principle.
|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
David F. Walbert (1973). Abortion, Society, and the Law. Cleveland [Ohio]Press of Case Western Reserve University.
Matthew Tedesco (2007). Thomson's Samaritanism Constraint. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):112-126.
Stephen Griffith (1985). How Not to Argue About Abortion. Philosophy Research Archives 11:347-354.
Lara Denis (2007). Abortion and Kant's Formula of Universal Law. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (4):547-580.
Susan Sherwin (1981). The Concept of a Person in the Context of Abortion. Bioethics Quarterly 3 (1):21-34.
F. M. Kamm (1992). Creation and Abortion: A Study in Moral and Legal Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads60 ( #24,821 of 1,099,034 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #114,795 of 1,099,034 )
How can I increase my downloads?