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Bioethics and WomenAcross the Lifespan$
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Mary Briody Mahowald

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195176179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195176170.001.0001

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 Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points

 Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points

(p.50) 3 Different Starting Points, Standpoints, End Points
Bioethics and Women

Mary Briody Mahowald

Oxford University Press

Terms crucial to bioethical debate are examined: these include life, death, human, person, moral status, and moral agency. The moral relevance of the gestational tie between a woman and her fetus as well as other relationships is discussed. In light of their relevance to ethical decisions after birth as well as prior to birth, different positions on moral status or personhood are considered. These range from the view that full moral status occurs through union of human egg and sperm to the view that it requires the ability to make moral decisions, a capacity lacking in infants and adults who are comatose.

Keywords:   human life, death, person, moral status, moral agency, fetus, birth, comatose, relationships, standpoint

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