Match!

Abortion and Ectogenesis: Moral Compromise

Published on Feb 1, 2020in Journal of Medical Ethics2.195
· DOI :10.1136/medethics-2019-105676
William Simkulet (Park University)
Sources
Abstract
The contemporary philosophical literature on abortion primarily revolves around three seemingly intractable debates, concerning the (1) moral status of the fetus, (2) scope of women’s rights and (3) moral relevance of the killing/letting die distinction. The possibility of ectogenesis—technology that would allow a fetus to develop outside of a gestational mother’s womb—presents a unique opportunity for moral compromise. Here, I argue those opposed to abortion have a prima facie moral obligation to pursue ectogenesis technology and provide ectogenesis for disconnected fetuses as part of a moral compromise.
  • References (47)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
6 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
References47
Newest
In a recent article, William Simkulet has argued against the anti-abortion view by invoking the fact that many human fetuses die from spontaneous abortion. He argues that this fact poses a dilemma for proponents of the anti-abortion view: either they must abandon their anti-abortion view or they must engage in preventing spontaneous abortion significantly more than at present—either to the extent that they try to prevent induced abortion or at least significantly more than they do today. In this...
6 CitationsSource
1 CitationsSource
#1William Simkulet (Mid Michigan Community College)H-Index: 2
Many people believe human fetuses have the same moral status as adult human persons, that it is wrong to allow harm to befall things with this moral status, and thus voluntary, induced abortion is seriously morally wrong. Recently, many prochoice theorists have argued that this antiabortion stance is inconsistent; approximately 60% of human fetuses die from spontaneous abortion, far more than die from induced abortion, so if antiabortion theorists really believe that human fetuses have significa...
8 CitationsSource
Many people believe that the abortion debate will end when at some point in the future it will be possible for fetuses to develop outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, would make possible to reconcile pro-life and pro-choice positions. That is because it is commonly believed that there is no right to the death of the fetus if it can be detached alive and gestated in an artificial womb. Recently Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis defended this position, by arguing against three...
2 CitationsSource
#1Amy Berg (UNC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)H-Index: 1
Opponents of abortion sometimes hold that it is impermissible because fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. But miscarriage, which ends up to 89 % of pregnancies, is much deadlier than abortion. That means that if opponents of abortion are right, then miscarriage is the biggest public-health crisis of our time. Yet they pay hardly any attention to miscarriage, especially very early miscarriage. Attempts to resolve this inconsistency by adverting to the distinction between killing an...
7 CitationsSource
#1Eric Mathison (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 1
#2Jeremy DavisH-Index: 1
At some point in the future – perhaps within the next few decades – it will be possible for foetuses to develop completely outside the womb. Ectogenesis, as this technology is called, raises substantial issues for the abortion debate. One such issue is that it will become possible for a woman to have an abortion, in the sense of having the foetus removed from her body, but for the foetus to be kept alive. We argue that while there is a right to an abortion, there are reasons to doubt that there ...
2 CitationsSource
#1William Simkulet (CSU: Cleveland State University)H-Index: 3
In “Abortion and Ownership” John Martin Fischer argues that in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist case you have a moral obligation not to unplug yourself from the violinist. Fischer comes to this conclusion by comparing the case with Joel Feinberg’s cabin case, in which he contends a stranger is justified in using your cabin to stay alive. I argue that the relevant difference between these cases is that while the stranger’s right to life trumps your right to property in the cabin case, the violin...
1 CitationsSource
#1Clara Watson (St Mary's University, Twickenham)H-Index: 1
The question of surrogacy has dominated much of the European human rights agenda over the last two years, at the time writing, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe hopes to adopt a resolution on surrogacy in the coming months. There is, however, danger in taking action at a supranational level to address the European ‘surrogacy problem’, without first honestly answering the question: does surrogacy undermine the human dignity and rights of the surrogate mother and child? This pape...
4 CitationsSource
One reason for the persistent appeal of Don Marquis' ‘future like ours’ argument (FLO) is that it seems to offer a way to approach the debate about the morality of abortion while sidestepping the difficult task of establishing whether the fetus is a person. This essay argues that in order to satisfactorily address both of the chief objections to FLO – the ‘identity objection’ and the ‘contraception objection’ – Marquis must take a controversial stand on what is most essential to being the kind o...
2 CitationsSource
#1Henrik Friberg-Fernros (University of Gothenburg)H-Index: 4
In his article, The Substance View: a critique, Rob Lovering argues that the substance view – according to which the human embryo is a person entitled to human rights – leads to such implausible implications that this view should be abandoned. In this article I respond to his criticism by arguing that either his arguments fail because the proponents of the substance view are not obligated to hold positions which may be considered absurd, or because the positions which they are assumed to be obli...
7 CitationsSource
Cited By1
Newest
#1John McMillan (University of Otago)H-Index: 42
#1John McMillan (University of Otago)H-Index: 15
The Journal of Medical Ethics has published a few papers over recent years that explore the ethical implications of ectogenesis.1–4 It is an as yet undeveloped but theoretically possible method by which a fetus can be gestated outside of the womb, and while the prospects of ‘full’ ectogenesis seem some way off, there are techniques that suggest ‘partial’ ectogenesis could be closer. This issue’s Feature Article considers two of the principal arguments that have been developed in favour of ectoge...
Source