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Reply #10: One more thought re: the idea of life beginning at separation [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
Kurt_and_Hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-21-08 12:32 PM
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10. One more thought re: the idea of life beginning at separation
I wrote: "Medical technology complicates the definition of birth as physical separation from the mother..."

In our age of miracles we can now lift a three or four month fetus from the uterus, perform surgery and pop it back in to be carried to term. (Most procedures would be performed without lifting the fetus out of the womb, but some require being able to move the fetus around.)

When was that baby born? The early surgery included a Cesarean section delivery as part of the procedure, so it was it born, then unborn, then born latter on?

Was it briefly a person, then not a person, then a person again? Or was its proximity to the uterus not definitive of person-hood?

And, to anticipate one possible out, if anyone wants to say life begins when the umbilical cord it cut then we are really in some deep, deep water! (Though it's really not less arbitrary than other measures it conjures the bizarre image of a full-term, naturally born, healthy, crying newborn who isn't a person yet... 'snip' there you go.)

It's all tough. If life begins at conception then identical twins have only one soul between them! Try that on for size. (Unlike fraternal twins, Identical twins are conceived as one embryo or zygote or whatever the term is for the very first splits of a fertilized ovum. There's only one ovum involved. They divide into twins a while after conception.)
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