Why the embryo rescue case is a bad argument against embryonic personhood

Bioethics 33 (6):669-673 (2019)
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The “Embryo Rescue Case” (ERC) refers to a thought experiment that is used to argue against the view that embryos have a right to life (i.e. are persons). I will argue that cognitive science undermines the intuition elicited by the ERC; I will show that whether or not embryos have a right to life, our mental tools will make it very difficult to believe that embryos have said right. This suggests that the intuition elicited by the ERC is not truth indicative. The upshot of this is that we have an undercutting defeater for our intuition that embryos do not have a right to life.

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Perry Hendricks
Purdue University

Citations of this work

The Pregnancy Rescue Case: why abortion is immoral.Perry Hendricks - 2024 - Journal of Medical Ethics 50 (5):332-334.
Liberal utilitarianism – yes, but for whom?Joona Räsänen - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (2):368-375.
Schrödinger’s Fetus.Joona Räsänen - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1):125-130.
Embryo Loss and Moral Status.James Delaney - 2023 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 48 (3):252-264.

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