Life Before Birth The Moral and Legal Status of Embryos and Fetuses

ISBN-10: 0195341627

ISBN-13: 9780195341621

Edition: 2nd 2011

Authors: Bonnie Steinbock

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Life Before Birth provides a coherent framework for addressing bioethical issues in which the moral status of embryos and fetuses is relevant. It is based on the "interest view" which ascribes moral standing to beings with interests, and connects the possession of interests with the capacity for conscious awareness or sentience. The theoretical framework is applied to ethical and legal topics, including abortion, prenatal torts, wrongful life, the crime of feticide, substance abuse by pregnant women, compulsory cesareans, assisted reproduction, and stem cell research. Along the way, difficult philosophical problems, such as identity and the non-identity problem are thoroughly explored. The book will be of interest not only to philosophers, but also physicians, lawyers, policy makers, and anyone perplexed by the many difficulties surrounding the unborn. "Bonnie Steinbock's excellent book is . . . consistent, thoroughgoing, and intelligible." --Nature "Steinbock's book is valuable for all interested in the ethical/legal issues surrounding abortion, prenatal injury and liability, maternal-fetal conflict, and fetal/embryo research. The author provides an excellent historical overview of these issues, but she also addresses the issues from the stance of a particular theory of moral status, namely, interest theory. This gives coherence to her discussion as well as allowing testing of the viability of interest theory." --Choice "A focused, lucid, analytically fine-grained discussion of a wide variety of problems. . . extremely useful as a survey of the current state of the debate." --Religious Studies Review "Merits serious consideration by physicians. Steinbock's interests-based approach treats all questions as open -- another and most welcome breath of fresh air." -New England Journal of Medicine "An extremely valuable contribution to the literature. The author carefully identifies the many bioethical issues to which the status of embryos and fetuses is relevant....She thoroughly reviews the extensive medical, bioethical, and legal literature on all of these issues, offering well-developed critiques of many standard positions. She articulates and thoughtfully defends interesting positions on all of theses topics. Anyone with an interest in these issues will learn a great deal from her knowledgeable and judicious treatment of them." -- The Journal of Clinical Ethics
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Book details

List price: $32.99
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/14/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 328
Size: 9.21" wide x 6.10" long x 0.98" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Interest View
Consciousness and Interests
Is Consciousness Necessary for Having Interests?
Is Consciousness Sufficient for Having Interests?
The Interests of Nonconscious Individuals
Dead People
Permanently Unconscious People
Infants with Anencephaly
Future People
The Parfit Problem and the Farther Future
Potential People: Embryos and Fetuses
Abortion
The Moral Standing of the Fetus
The Conservative Position
Fetal Sentience
Implantation
The Person View
The Right to Life
The Argument From Potential
The Logical Problem
Contraception and the Moral Standing of Gametes
The Future-Like-Ours Account
Identity
The Embodied Mind Account
The Biological View
The Interest View and the Time-Relative Interests Account
Sentient Fetuses
Possible People
The Nonidentity Problem
The Argument From Bodily Self-Determination
Thomson's Defense of Abortion
Roe v. Wade
The Moral and Legal Significance of Viability
Late Abortions
Partial-Birth Abortion
Beyond Abortion: The Fetus in Tort and Criminal Law
Recovery for Prenatal Injury in Torts
Against Third Parties
The Irrelevance of Viability
Preconception Torts
Against the Mother
The Woman's Right of Privacy
Automobile Liability
Prenatal Wrongful Death
Wrongful-Death Actions
The Implications for Abortion
The Criminal Law
Prenatal Neglect
Homicide
Wrongful Life
Maternal-Fetal Conflict
Moral Obligations to the Not-Yet-Born
Risks to the Fetus
Pregnant Women and the Law
Delivering Drugs Through the Umbilical Cord
Criminal Prosecution for Child Abuse or Endangerment
Criminal Prosecution for Homicide
Jailing the Pregnant Addict
Termination of Parental Rights
Compulsory Cesarean Sections
The Implications of Roe v. Wade
McFall v. Shimp and the Duty to Rescue
Less Invasive Cases
Assisted Reproductive Technology
The Science of Assisted Reproductive Technology
In Vitro Fertilization
Health Risks to Women
Health Risks to Offspring
Procreative Liberty and Its Critics
John Robertson
Adoption and the Right to Have Biologically Related Children
Core Values and Penumbral Interests
The Interests of Children and the Nonidentity Problem
Limits to Procreative Liberty
Postmenopausal Mothers
The Risk of Transmitting Disease or Disability
Multiple Births
Dispositional Problems
Davis v. Davis
Kass v. Kass
Gamete Donation
Sperm Donation
Egg Donation
Stem Cell Research
The Science
Adult Stem Cells
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Cloning: Reproductive Versus Therapeutic
The Moral Standing of the Human Embryo
The Twinning Problem
Respect for Embryos
Kantian Respect
Moral Standing Versus Moral Value
The Basis for Ascribing Moral Value to Human Embryos
The Discarded-Created Distinction
Payment for Oocytes
Chimeras, Hybrids, and Cybrids
Law and Policy in the United States
Cloning Policy
Law and Policy in Other Countries
United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning
Index
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