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  1. Schrödinger’s Fetus.Joona Räsänen - 2020 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 23 (1):125-130.
    This paper defends and develops Elizabeth Harman’s Actual Future Principle with a concept called Schrödinger’s Fetus. I argue that all early fetuses are Schrödinger’s Fetuses: those early fetuses that survive and become conscious beings have full moral status already as early fetuses, but those fetuses that die as early fetuses lack moral status. With Schrödinger’s Fetus, it becomes possible to accept two widely held but contradictory intuitions to be true, and to avoid certain reductiones ad absurdum that pro-life and pro-choice (...)
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  • Can Prolife Theorists Justify an Exception for Rape?Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2021 - Bioethics 1.
    Prolife theorists typically hold to the claim that all human beings possess equal moral status from conception and consequently possess a right to life. This, they believe, entails that abortion is impermissible in all circumstances. Critics characterize this as an extreme anti-abortion position, as it prima facie allows no exceptions, even in cases of rape. Here, I examine whether the prolife claim regarding equal moral status is compatible with a more attractive moderate stance that permits an exception in the case (...)
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  • Miscarriage Can Kill … But It Usually Does Not: Evaluating Inconsistency Arguments.Jessalyn A. Bohn - 2021 - The New Bioethics 27 (3):245-265.
    Recent publications debate the value of inconsistency arguments. Here, I argue that 'Cause of Death Arguments' - inconsistency arguments that claim miscarriage causes death far more often than induced abortion - are unsound or invalid. 'Miscarriage' ambiguously refers both to intrauterine death, an outcome that does not itself cause death, and preterm delivery, which only sometimes causes death. The referential ambiguity also obscures actions people do take to prevent 'miscarriage.' When using the most plausible versions of each premise, these arguments (...)
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  • Miscarriage Is Not a Cause of Death: A Response to Berg’s “Abortion and Miscarriage”.Nicholas Colgrove - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (4):394-413.
    Some opponents of abortion claim that fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. Following Berg (2017), let us call these individuals “Personhood-At-Conception” (or PAC), opponents of abortion. Berg argues that if fetuses are persons from the moment of conception, then miscarriage kills far more people than abortion. As such, PAC opponents of abortion face the following dilemma: They must “immediately” and “substantially” shift their attention, resources, etc., toward preventing miscarriage or they must admit that they do not actually believe (...)
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  • Prolife Hypocrisy: Why Inconsistency Arguments Do Not Matter.Nicholas Colgrove, Bruce Philip Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics (Online First):1-6.
    Opponents of abortion are often described as ‘inconsistent’ (hypocrites) in terms of their beliefs, actions and/or priorities. They are alleged to do too little to combat spontaneous abortion, they should be adopting cryopreserved embryos with greater frequency and so on. These types of arguments—which we call ‘inconsistency arguments’—conform to a common pattern. Each specifies what consistent opponents of abortion would do (or believe), asserts that they fail to act (or believe) accordingly and concludes that they are inconsistent. Here, we show (...)
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  • Is Pregnancy Really a Good Samaritan Act?Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2021 - Christian Bioethics 27 (2):158–168.
    One of the most influential philosophical arguments in favour of the permissibility of abortion is Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist analogy, presented in ‘A Defense of Abortion’. Its appeal for pro-choice advocates lies in Thomson’s granting that the fetus is a person with equivalent moral status to any other human being, and yet demonstrating—to those who accept her reasoning—that abortion is still permissible. In her argument, Thomson draws heavily on the parable of the Good Samaritan, arguing that gestating a fetus in (...)
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  • If Fetuses Are Persons, Abortion is a Public Health Crisis.Bruce Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (5):465-472.
    Pro-life advocates commonly argue that fetuses have the moral status of persons, and an accompanying right to life, a view most pro-choice advocates deny. A difficulty for this pro-life position has been Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist analogy, in which she argues that even if the fetus is a person, abortion is often permissible because a pregnant woman is not obliged to continue to offer her body as life support. Here, we outline the moral theories underlying public health ethics, and examine (...)
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  • Frozen Embryos and The Obligation to Adopt.Bruce P. Blackshaw & Nicholas Colgrove - 2020 - Bioethics (8):1-5.
    Rob Lovering has developed an interesting new critique of views that regard embryos as equally valuable as other human beings: the moral argument for frozen human embryo adoption. The argument is aimed at those who believe that the death of a frozen embryo is a very bad thing, and Lovering concludes that some who hold this view ought to prevent one of these deaths by adopting and gestating a frozen embryo. Contra Lovering, we show that there are far more effective (...)
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  • The Ethics of Killing: Strengthening the Substance View with Time-Relative Interests.Bruce P. Blackshaw - 2019 - The New Bioethics (Online):1-17.
    The substance view is an account of personhood that regards all human beings as possessing instrinsic value and moral status equivalent to that of an adult human being. Consequently, substance view proponents typically regard abortion as impermissible in most circumstances. The substance view, however, has difficulty accounting for certain intuitions regarding the badness of death for embryos and fetuses, and the wrongness of killing them. Jeff McMahan’s time-relative interest account is designed to cater for such intuitions, and so I present (...)
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