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Thread: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    My apologies. I think you mean former, but I understand your intention. I'm not certain what you mean by functionally equivalent, so in that case perhaps it is so. Morally equivalent I see no similarity whatsoever. One has harmful source, one does not, unless we extended our definition of harmful source to the flaws in the copying of DNA for instance. Even then I would expect the construction of a coherent moral argument that relates the two to be an uphill struggle to say the least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambersuccubus View Post
    Your language is extremely densely packed, so it's hard to work out exactly what you're saying here. But how is "choosing categorically to bear a disabled child" not functionally equivalent to "making choices that *may* lead to a damaged child" except that, in the latter case, the outcome is actually more likely to be positive (FAS is by no means guaranteed at any level of drinking, and appears to have both genetic and environmental trggers)?
    And all matter is just particles obeying the laws of physics. Humans can't help but live in an emergent reality. It's messy, it's muddled, it's often cruel but this is the reality we are trying to make sense of. I needs confess your certainty has an appeal to me, but I lack such convictions. I feel I must prolong the arrestation of my ideas by avoiding ideas that reduce us to such a level. The scientific argument that we may abort a human that has not yet experienced this emergence is well discussed. Perhaps we should discuss and not disregard the emergent reality fully-formed humans feel about this idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambersuccubus View Post
    No it's not. It has human genetics, true, and the potential to grow into a human being, but until it's viable, it's just cells...
    I am in no way equipped to discuss legal matters and means, however the idea that I can't say such-and-such does not hold water. Once upon a time you might have said something similar to William Copower or John Locke. Let me back up and say of course I don't count myself among the ranks of such people, and even so have already modified my thoughts on the post you quoted me.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    You asked (originally) why you "shouldn't think of this as a form of attempted murder". You can, personally, think of it as whatever you like. That won't change the law, which states that the mother has not committed a crime. But you can't simply ignore the existing laws when asking a question about a legal ruling. So if you say "I think this should be attempted murder", you're fine - that's placing your personal opinion on the matter in question (although I think you'd be wrong because there's no suggestion of any intent to kill). If you say "I think this was attempted murder" you're absolutely wrong, because you're commenting on a legal case, and your opinion of what the law should be doesn't matter as far as the actual law goes; this case was clearly and legally not a case of attempted murder.

    As far as the wider context goes, there are real problems when you start trying to limit the freedoms of a person based on a temporary condition, particularly if you then go so far as to criminalise activities. The question here isn't whether the mother is at fault for her daughter's condition (AFAICT that's not disputed), but whether she committed a criminal act. That's a much narrower, more specific question, and the law is very clear, including in its reasoning for the position; legally, the mother did not commit a crime. That doesn't say she wasn't responsible, just that her actions weren't criminal. It's an important distinction.
    The appeal was dismissed via a point of law related to an act or parliament that was passed in the 1800's. Judged via this knowledge I'd say the message given by the judgement is open to interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim
    ...That's why this appeal not being granted was important - because it gave a clear message that the UK legal system backs a pregnant woman's right to self determination...
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Somewhere in my jumbled musings I'm almost certain I've said this, and probably goes without saying I agree wholeheartedly.

    As Peter says, I hope I've also been clear that I don't pretend to know the answer. I would also go one step further (as may Peter) and suggest that a hearty distrust of those who do is not an unhealthy position to take.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    I'm merely pointing out that in exercising her 'right' to choose, she is imposing the consequences of that choice on another biological entity, and one that has no say in the matter - which seems contradictory as we have a whole army of social workers ready to intervene the moment the child is born.

    The law may currently state that the unborn child is not a legal entity, but the law is about - the law, not necessarily what is right, fair or just. Is it right that the unborn child should have less protection at the most vulnerable stage of its life than it does at any other time?

    I don't know the answer - it isn't a question with a clear cut answer - but the present situation is contradictory. But if the protection of the law was extended, it raises as many other ethical and moral questions that it answers. As it stands, it comes down to a matter of conscience.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    ... Is it right that the unborn child should have less protection at the most vulnerable stage of its life than it does at any other time? ...
    I'd turn that around and say is it right to deny a woman her rights based on the possibility that a ball of cells in her uterus might become a viable human at some point in the future? The "most vulnerable" stage for a foetus is in the first 3 months when its mother might not even realise she's pregnant, and certainly before it could even vaguely be considered a person.

    Essentially you're setting the rights of a definite person against the rights of a possible person, and in that fight I'd always come down on the side of the definite person. People won't always act responsibly, which is sad, but criminalising the irresponsible would be a disproportionate and invasive response. The law moves to protect unborn children from deliberate harm at the point they might reasonably be considered "people". I think that's the right balance, and furthermore don't see any benefit in changing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by yamangman View Post
    ... The appeal was dismissed via a point of law related to an act or parliament that was passed in the 1800's. Judged via this knowledge I'd say the message given by the judgement is open to interpretation.
    I hope it was dismissed via a point of law - that's kind of the point of a legal system. The court of appeal made a clear statement:

    three Court of Appeal judges unanimously ruled that “a mother who is pregnant and who drinks to excess despite knowledge of the potential harmful consequence to the child of doing so is not guilty of a criminal offence under our law if her child is subsequently born damaged as a result”.
    So, unanimous decision, no criminal offence. No fluffy language, no recommendations to review the legislation, no messing. This is the legal position. That's about as strong a backing to the legal position as you can get in an appeal court.



    It's hard to find the full background to the case from the BBC or Independent stories (and OT but the Independent website is DIRE! almost unusable) but I assume in this case an application was made for compensation (from a government fund - i.e. public money) and refused. And while the lawyers (and presumably the local authority they represent) claim to be representing the best interests of the child, was it really in her best interests to spend more tax-payers money taking the claim to the appeals court, when it seems to be a well-established point of law that she wouldn't have a criminal case to answer? Seems to me it was more in the interests of the firm of lawyers with 80 of these cases sat on their books.

    I'm not arguing against it being an emotive and difficult subject, and clearly there have to be lines drawn that won't please everyone. I'm also not claiming to have THE answer. But I do have AN answer - my answer - which is that I'm opposed to any further erosion of women's - in this case mother's - rights. And as far as there has to be some sort of decision taken, my opinion appears to be in line with that of the law-makers and -implementers in this country. I can live with that.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    To reiterate the technical point. Every human embryo is a human being, a human life. This is because, 1) he or she is a member of the human species, (not something else), 2) he or she is alive - i.e. having life (not dead), and 3) he or she is a unique, whole, individual being (having a distinct, identifiable, genetic makeup, and his or her own life processes, and not a part of a being or larger organism). There are numerous textbooks on embryology which attest to that fact and I can provide quotes if you like. To say an embryo is a human being is not a statement of faith, it is a statement of fact, and if anyone wants to dispute I'll direct them to the aforementioned references and I would challenge them to state 1) if the embryo isn't a human being, what it is, and 2) the definition of human being.

    As for law, I'm surprised by how many seem to lean on it with a degree a permanency and finality not usually attributed to it. Is it not plainly the case that laws can be both newly written, changed and/or removed? Law is simply an attempt to codify that which society believes to be true of good and which is based upon, or a reflection of, an underlying truth. By way of example, but without wanting to draw to direct a parallel, were not slaves, at one point, legally considered property, legally treated as less than human, and not deserving of human rights? Those laws pertained to the status of human being and were changed because of the recognition of an underlying truth. The law was made to fit reality; defined by it. Theoretically, could that not be the same here?
    Last edited by Galant; 23-12-2014 at 11:29 PM.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Not murder. Very unlikely statistically to cause stillborn / miscarriage etc. More like aggravated causation of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    Parents enjoy way too much social standing for their ability to spaff out kids ( endless newspaper 'As a parent...' sanctimonious piffle). Rats can procreate with ease too, so it isn't very clever. We need to start holding parents to a higher standard, or treat them with disgust if they fail.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    We'll theoretically, if my auntie had nuts she'd be my uncle. It still seems to be a very slippery slope to start legislating what a woman carrying around a foetus can do. When you start down that path it's very easy to get tied up in legal and moral knots.

    How many expectant mothers this Christmas are likely to have a glass of Bucks Fizz? Should they be castigated? Probably not. What about if they have a glass of wine with their turkey? Where do you draw the line?

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    As others have said, it's a very slippery slope. I understand the differing points of view but to the people coming down on the side of thinking that a foetus should legally be a person - how do you legislate for this and where would it end?
    Pregnant woman caught speeding should be punished for risking the unborn child's life? What about obese mothers who don't eat healthy? How about people who know they have a genetic disorder that could be passed to the child - should we prevent them from having children due to this risk? (That one is an extreme example I know but, as I said, slippery slope).
    Personally I think that what a woman chooses to do with her body should is her business, pregnant or not. It's all very well other people (all too often men) debating how we should deal with these issues but we're not the ones potentially risking our own wellbeing to give birth. I've seen first hand, as I'm sure many of us here have, how a woman's health (both mental and physical) can be affected during and after pregnancy and it can be a very difficult time. The law as it stands gives protection to the mother which is as it should be - that an irresponsible woman has taken risks during pregnancy is not, in my opinion, grounds for changing the law and infringing on the basic rights of millions of other women.

    This may not be the case here but I also can't help but feel the cold, creeping hand of religion when a lot of these 'right to life' arguments are made *shudders*.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    To reiterate the technical point. Every human embryo is a human being, a human life. This is because, 1) he or she is a member of the human species, (not something else), 2) he or she is alive - i.e. having life (not dead), and 3) he or she is a unique, whole, individual being (having a distinct, identifiable, genetic makeup, and his or her own life processes, and not a part of a being or larger organism). There are numerous textbooks on embryology which attest to that fact and I can provide quotes if you like. To say an embryo is a human being is not a statement of faith, it is a statement of fact, and if anyone wants to dispute I'll direct them to the aforementioned references and I would challenge them to state 1) if the embryo isn't a human being, what it is, and 2) the definition of human being.

    As for law, I'm surprised by how many seem to lean on it with a degree a permanency and finality not usually attributed to it. Is it not plainly the case that laws can be both newly written, changed and/or removed? Law is simply an attempt to codify that which society believes to be true of good and which is based upon, or a reflection of, an underlying truth. By way of example, but without wanting to draw to direct a parallel, were not slaves, at one point, legally considered property, legally treated as less than human, and not deserving of human rights? Those laws pertained to the status of human being and were changed because of the recognition of an underlying truth. The law was made to fit reality; defined by it. Theoretically, could that not be the same here?
    See this is exactly the problem. This is like a Creationist screaming 'Why are there still monkeys'? Yours is a religious position, not a scientific one. I won't waste time over definitions of 'individual being' since reality is wasted on the religious. I'll just point out the obvious ignorance of your position. An embryo can split into two (or more), during the first two weeks after conception, resulting in identical twins (or triplets, quads or, theoretically, quins) with identical genetic makeup. Multiple embryos can also combine to form a chimera. So much for individual.

    Your position is a religious one, and that's OK. What's not OK is when religious people declare scientific truths that really declare nothing except their ignorance of the science involved.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    The judges were told that her mother was drinking a half-bottle of vodka and eight cans of strong lager a day while pregnant. John Foy QC, appearing for CP, told the court that the mother “was aware of the dangers to her baby of her excessive consumption during pregnancy”.
    The seven-year-old girl was born with severe brain damage and is now in care.
    It appears the kid is brain damaged and in care at the taxpayers cost too,meaning the mother was not even interested even in looking after there child. So rather than abort the foetus,she lets the rest of society bare her burdon.

    Maybe we introduce a law that if intentionally hurt your child in this way,you have a percentage of your pay or benefits docked for child care costs.

    Too many people in this country have the minds of children in the bodies of adults and then expect the rest of us to pay for their stupid mistakes.

    It means less money towards things like job creation,etc and things which actually help this country.

    However,we can just get more and more into debt,which most definitely help us longterm.

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    Not murder. Very unlikely statistically to cause stillborn / miscarriage etc. More like aggravated causation of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    Parents enjoy way too much social standing for their ability to spaff out kids ( endless newspaper 'As a parent...' sanctimonious piffle). Rats can procreate with ease too, so it isn't very clever. We need to start holding parents to a higher standard, or treat them with disgust if they fail.
    Agreed especially when we have to pay the financial and social costs for their "rights" to not use any protection while having sex and then not bothering about what gets pumped out.

    What about the "rights" of the taxpayer or the "rights" of society or the "rights" of the physically and mentally abused kids they pump out which end up being either a burdon on other people,or grow up to cause problems for others(criminal behaviour due to neglect as kids)??

    The care costs for the foetally abused kid will be enormous over their lifespan - even if the cost of care only was £10000 to £20000 a year,over 70 years that would be £700000 to £1.4million pounds.

    However,things like care homes(just for old people) can cost £28000 to £38000 a year:

    https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.u...e-or-home-care

    That is not for some one with severe disabilities either which needs specialist care.

    This is what annoys me too and thats on top of the fact the person will have a very poor standard of living too.

    Its one thing if this was no fault of the parent,or they were willing to look after their sprog and this is whole point of our benefits system to make sure people get support and not be on the street.

    However,in this case they knew the risks and did not want to care for their sprog and offloaded them to the taxpayer instead. This is just another case of abuse of our benefits system too.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-12-2014 at 10:43 AM.


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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    ... in this case they knew the risks and did not want to care for their sprog and offloaded them to the taxpayer instead. This is just another case of abuse of our benefits system too.
    Actually, this "case" - meaning the one the appeal court was ruling on - was about whether the child should *also* get compensation from a government fund as a victim of crime. The law says no. So in this case the law is protecting public funds.

    The resulting situation - the care burden on society - is no different to mothers refusing to abort foetuses with in-utero diagnoses of disability. Or, as george1979 suggested earlier, parents with known genetic disorders choosing to have children in the first place. And if you're going to make women criminals for drinking during pregnancy, there's no good argument against applying such laws to any woman who knowingly carries a disabled child. But, again, you don't hear the outcry against women who choose not to abort defective foetuses, because somehow forcing a child to live with a *known* disability is better than taking an action that *might* result in a child living with a disability. Legal precedent is vital in these cases, because the more you give the more the lawyers will push for.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Actually, this "case" - meaning the one the appeal court was ruling on - was about whether the child should *also* get compensation from a government fund as a victim of crime. The law says no. So in this case the law is protecting public funds.

    The resulting situation - the care burden on society - is no different to mothers refusing to abort foetuses with in-utero diagnoses of disability. Or, as george1979 suggested earlier, parents with known genetic disorders choosing to have children in the first place. And if you're going to make women criminals for drinking during pregnancy, there's no good argument against applying such laws to any woman who knowingly carries a disabled child. But, again, you don't hear the outcry against women who choose not to abort defective foetuses, because somehow forcing a child to live with a *known* disability is better than taking an action that *might* result in a child living with a disability. Legal precedent is vital in these cases, because the more you give the more the lawyers will push for.
    If she had aborted the foetus or taken more precautions the burden on the taxpayer would have been less, so trying to twist it any other way is ridiculous and also if someone wants to give birth to a person with a known disability despite prior advice they should be made to foot a higher percentage of the maintenance cost of their sprigs if they abandon the kids, ie, don't try and look after them. If they at least try to take responsibility at least it would say at least something(plus I know enough people who have taken time out of their careers to help sick and disabled family members).

    By drinking and destroying your child mentally after you know it will happen and then not bothering to look after them, is sadistic and cruel and you have given a life sentence for the child. I put such people in the same league as paedos and the like,since they have destroyed the lives of the most vulnerable in our society WILLINGLY.

    Plus its bloody extortion since we can't obviously abandon the poor kids(its nor their fault their parents don't care) but the stupid PC crowd means we can't censure or anything about the parents. Its a joke meaning there is nothing that can be done now democratically apart from being miffed about it,which soon will be probably considered offensive.

    But you get entitled ****s who expect the taxpayer to pay more tax to get other people look after their little craps since they can't be arsed to themselves so they can have their sodding lifestyles.

    If you make the choice then you better live by the sword or die by the sword. I could even understand if its something that was discovered at too late a date and that's what are social care system should be there for - not for people who intentionally give birth to disabled children or make sure they damage them on purpose. Now if people think the latter two things are ok,then they are quite free to pay double their tax and NI contributions to support people who don't care about their children before birth.People should put their money where their mouths are.



    Selfish Free choice without any considerations is the act of immature adults who expect people to pay for their own dumb choices, and its even more annoying when so many people in this country have to rely on food banks or working in zero hour contracts trying to make ends meet.

    I have nothing but disdain for free loaders in this country who are plunging us more and more into debt. They are abusing the social care system to fund their immature pie in the sky choices and the idiots don't realise as we plung more and more into debt the social care system will eventually won't be sustainable in another generation.

    There needs to be responsible at both ends of the spectrum.


    Taxation will need to massively increase and no government will be voted into power on that alone.

    Hope you are all ready by then.
    Any way that's my 2P.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-12-2014 at 02:06 PM.


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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by TeePee View Post
    See this is exactly the problem. This is like a Creationist screaming 'Why are there still monkeys'? Yours is a religious position, not a scientific one. I won't waste time over definitions of 'individual being' since reality is wasted on the religious. I'll just point out the obvious ignorance of your position. An embryo can split into two (or more), during the first two weeks after conception, resulting in identical twins (or triplets, quads or, theoretically, quins) with identical genetic makeup. Multiple embryos can also combine to form a chimera. So much for individual.

    Your position is a religious one, and that's OK. What's not OK is when religious people declare scientific truths that really declare nothing except their ignorance of the science involved.
    The single point I brought up relates to definitions. No one is saying there aren't difficulties in understanding the fullness of human life. The point is that 'human being' is a term which cannot be denied the unborn child. It is a specific term with a real meaning which can't just be twisted around to fit one's criteria. I, myself, am no authority on these issues, therefore I refer to what I have read and learned on this matter, and my knowledge is certainly incomplete. However, as said, human being is a specific term, and I would be curious to hear what other scientific term or definition might be rightly applied to the unborn.

    Since you brought it up the processes of twinning and the rare instances of the production of chimera, though, neither of those rule out the possibility of individuality in the embryo(s). This is because it does not necessarily follow that because an entity may split it was not therefore a whole living organism prior to the split, or that is two organisms combine into one that there were not two at some point. If a flatworm is cut in half we get two flatworms. Does it follow there was no living (whole) flatworm prior to the split? With regards monozygotic twinning, it has been described as exactly analogous to cloning, that is, essentially, a wholly natural form of cloning where genetic information of one whole individual is used as the basis for another. Just because the second, or third or fourth individual(s) did not form till later and by different means does not mean that a unique and whole individual did not exist first. Additionally, if one absorbs the other into itself, it does necessarily follow that two distinct entities did not, at some point, exist. Only that those entities are subject to processes which older individuals are not.

    Either way, all of this is off the point. This thread concerns the treatment of the unborn by the mother - or other individuals - and not time frame was specified. We have almost immediately ended up discussing the earliest stages of development but there is no reason to limit the discussion to only those stages. Stating that an unborn child, at no point in his or her development, can be called a human being must simply be false. People may wish to discuss personhood in terms of analysing the potential rights of the unborn child, however, I submit that whatever discussion of personhood may take place, the unborn child is human and is an individual being. And in defense of that I submit the below as defense of that position.

    "Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo development) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

    "A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo)."
    Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.

    "[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being."
    Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

    "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a 'moment') is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte."
    Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

    "Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization... This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development."
    William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.

    "It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."
    Clark Edward Corliss, Patten's Human Embryology: Elements of Clinical Development. New York: McGraw Hill, 1976. p. 30.

    "The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops."
    "The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life."
    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1974. pp. 17, 23.

    "Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition."
    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3rd edition. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975. p. vii.

    "Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization."
    The Biology of Prenatal Develpment, National Geographic, 2006.

    "The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated."
    In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005.


    The below from a US report, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 97th Congress, 1st Session April 23-24, 1981.
    "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."
    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School

    "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."
    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania

    "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."
    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes


    "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."
    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic


    "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."
    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by Galant View Post
    The point is that 'human being' is a term which cannot be denied the unborn child.
    So is a child who dies of cancer aged 3 months in a poor country with no medical care still a living person 5 years later because somewhere else in the world chemotherapy would have saved them?


    i.e. a weird variation on Schrödinger's cat.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    I see what you've done there by quoting random academics. Here's a hypothetical for you though.

    You have your 2nd trimester scan, just before the cut off date and you find your baby has a medical condition which will leave them physically and mentally severely disabled for life. Do you terminate?

    You have your first scan and the signs all point towards Down's syndrome. Same question.

    I cannot express how glad I am that I didn't have to answer those questions, but your quotes above would seem to indicate that they're not even worth considering. As soon as the sperm meets the egg that's it.

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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by b0redom View Post
    I see what you've done there by quoting random academics. Here's a hypothetical for you though.

    You have your 2nd trimester scan, just before the cut off date and you find your baby has a medical condition which will leave them physically and mentally severely disabled for life. Do you terminate?

    You have your first scan and the signs all point towards Down's syndrome. Same question.

    I cannot express how glad I am that I didn't have to answer those questions, but your quotes above would seem to indicate that they're not even worth considering. As soon as the sperm meets the egg that's it.
    My point here wasn't to answer or suggest what someone should or shouldn't do. It was to clarify a specific issue that referring to an unborn child a not a human being isn't accurate. That was all.
    A correct understanding about/identification of the nature of the unborn is vital in being able to make choices, and laws, in these matters. Either the unborn should receive full rights or they shouldn't - but surely that must be based on who and what they are, and not what anyone else's preference is?

    That's the central question.
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    Re: Mother drinks heavily with child in utero...

    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi View Post
    So is a child who dies of cancer aged 3 months in a poor country with no medical care still a living person 5 years later because somewhere else in the world chemotherapy would have saved them?


    i.e. a weird variation on Schrödinger's cat.
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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