Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3):187-188 (2020)

Authors
Bruce P. Blackshaw
University of Birmingham
Daniel Rodger
London South Bank University
Abstract
Prabhpal Singh has recently defended a relational account of the difference in moral status between fetuses and newborns as a way of explaining why abortion is permissible and infanticide is not. He claims that only a newborn can stand in a parent–child relation, not a fetus, and this relation has a moral dimension that bestows moral value. We challenge Singh’s reasoning, arguing that the case he presents is unconvincing. We suggest that the parent–child relation is better understood as an extension of an existing relationship formed during the gestational period. The change in this relation at birth is not sufficient to justify the radical change in moral status required to rule out infanticide while accepting the permissibility of abortion. Given that the moral status of orphans is also problematic under Singh’s account, we conclude that Singh has not shown that a newborn has greater moral worth than a fetus.
Keywords fetus  abortion  moral status  infanticide  parental responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2020, 2021
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2020-106173
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,968
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Moral Complexity of Sperm Donation.Rivka Weinberg - 2008 - Bioethics 22 (3):166–178.
How Do We Acquire Parental Responsibilities?Joseph Millum - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (1):71-93.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Defending the Distinction Between Pregnancy and Parenthood.Prabhpal Singh - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3):189-191.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Fetuses, Newborns, and Parental Responsibility.Prabhpal Singh - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (3):188-193.
Defending the Distinction Between Pregnancy and Parenthood.Prabhpal Singh - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3):189-191.
Personhood, Threshold and Equality.Benjamin Leon Williamson - 2021 - Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (1).
Personhood and Moral Status.Julie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska - 2019 - In Antonia LoLordo (ed.), Persons: A History. Oxford University Press. pp. 334-362.
Abortion, Infanticide and Moral Context.Lindsey Porter - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):350-352.
After-Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?Alberto Giubilini & Francesca Minerva - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):261-263.
The Grounds of Moral Status.Julie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:0-0.
Abortion and the Margins of Personhood.Margaret Olivia Little - 2008 - Rutgers Law Journal 39:331–348.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-04-07

Total views
58 ( #177,931 of 2,433,407 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #49,294 of 2,433,407 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes