The Human Fetus Is A Human Being From The Moment Of Conception Essay

The Human Fetus Is A Human Being From The Moment Of Conception Essay

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In the selection which I have elected to transcribe this paper, Judith Jarvis Thompson, Professor Emerita of Philosophy at MIT, disputes that even if the human fetus is a person, abortion is often ethically permitted. The conclusion she composes is, “I agree that the desire for the child’s death is not one which anybody may gratify, should it be possible to detach the child alive” (183). I feel that the child should always be born, but perhaps the mother would rather not imagine that her child is alive, being nurtured by someone else. I am not sure how one could ultimately not be distraught about aborting their child, and not blissful that it is alive and capable of living a prodigious, prosperous life. The other main opinion Judith states in her closing is, “It should be remembered that we have only been pretending throughout that the fetus is a human being from the moment of conception. A very early abortion is surely not the killing of a person, and so is not dealt with by anything I have said here” (183).
Thompson uses the condition of awakening in the morning, and discovering yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. This violinist is very renowned, and has been found to have a terribly terminal kidney ailment. The Society of Music Lovers has studied all of his medical records, and acquired that you have the blood type to save his life. They opted to kidnap you last night, and to plug the violinist’s circulatory system into yours. Your kidneys are now eliminating toxins from his blood, and your own. The hospital director apologizes for the Society of Music Lovers doing this to you, and says that he would not have permitted it if he had known. The director tells you that to unplug you would be to kill him. I...


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...iolinist is an adult while the fetus is just that. The violinist’s reliance on the subject is clear and comparable to pregnancy in that the attachment does not kill or even seriously injure the subject, but it does severely infringe on her own freedom and does so in the long term, feasibly forever, as a child would do. The analogy between this situation and a pregnancy, however, is valid only to pregnancies that did not arise by voluntary actions on the mother’s behalf.
The simplicity of her analogies is their firm creativity. Thomson cleverly chooses to use them only as models of specific situations, rather than making them relate in a broad sense. If Thomson’s thesis were more value inclined, these analogies would be much weaker support. Yet, they serve very well as colorful examples of the variegated concerns that must be taken into reason in a debate of abortion.

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