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The Substance View: A Critique (Part 3)

Bioethics 31 (4):305-312 (2017)

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  1. 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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  • The Problem of Spontaneous Abortion: Is the Pro-Life Position Morally Monstrous?Bruce P. Blackshaw & Daniel Rodger - 2019 - The New Bioethics 25 (2):103-120.
    A substantial proportion of human embryos spontaneously abort soon after conception, and ethicists have argued this is problematic for the pro-life view that a human embryo has the same moral status as an adult from conception. Firstly, if human embryos are our moral equals, this entails spontaneous abortion is one of humanity’s most important problems, and it is claimed this is absurd, and a reductio of the moral status claim. Secondly, it is claimed that pro-life advocates do not act as (...)
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  • Two Tragedies Argument: Two Mistakes.William Simkulet - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (8):562-564.
    Most opposition to abortion turns on the claim that human fetuses are full moral agents from conception. Critics argue that antiabortion theorists act hypocritically when they neglect spontaneous abortions—valuing some fetal lives and not others. Many philosophers draw a distinction between killing and letting die, with the former being morally impermissible and latter acceptable. Henrick Friberg-Fernros appeals to this distinction with his Two Tragedies Argument, contending that anti-abortion theorists are justified in prioritising preventing induced abortions over spontaneous ones, as the (...)
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