, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 99-102
Date: 20 Nov 2012

Personhood: order and border of bioethics

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Personhood is the focus of all ethical debates in biomedicine but there are two opposite approaches to the definition of personhood. In the reductionist perspective, the moral status of the person is attributed to the subject capable of a moral life or a “valuable life”; in the personalistic approach, all human beings are considered persons from the beginning of life to the time of natural death, which is all human beings are persons in ontological sense. Based on these premises, the article examines the application of bioethics of the person in practical medical dilemmas at the beginning and at the end of life. Starting from the main point that physical life is not something extrinsic to the person, rather it is the fundamental value of the person, the author concludes that there is a moral obligation to defend and promote the life and the health of all human beings in proportion to their needs.