The Concept of Person in Bioethics

  • Anselm Winfried MüllerEmail author
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 111)


Abortionist arguments take different forms. Three kinds of argument in particular are common: (a) the (early) human foetus is not a human being; so (an early) abortion is not a case of killing innocent human beings. (b) Killing is intrinsically wrong only when directed against persons; up to a certain stage, however, the fetus (or even infant), though a human being alright, is not (yet) a person; so up to a certain stage of development abortion is not intrinsically wrong. (c) The human fetus is a human being (or person) and as such has a right to life; but in particular cases countervailing considerations may show that other rights or moral demands take precedence over the prohibition on killing the foetus.


Human Life Rational Capacity Moral Claim Rational Life Contingent Property 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of TrierTrierGermany

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