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Age can be defined as a simple measure of how long a person or an object has existed. A reliable estimation of the age of a human requires there to be a well-defined and documented event to which the duration of a known passage of time can be ascribed. The thorny question then arises about “when” a human begins to exist. This temporal moment of definition between existence and nonexistence can be difficult to fix in relation to the human and generally has three measurable options: the time since fertilization or intrauterine implantation (which have most value for embryological or fetal aging), or, most commonly, the time since birth for those who survive the uterine environment and a safe passage into the outside world.
Clinical practitioners, but especially pediatricians, wish to know the date of fertilization to permit them to calculate the age of an embryo or a fetus and to assess that development is progressing at the predicted and normal pace. However,...
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