When does human life begin?

Into statistics? Curious what everyone else thinks? Then start a poll here.

When Does Human Life Begin?

Human life is contained in every sperm & egg cell; they hold our reproductive DNA so human life begins before conception.
4
15%
Human life begins at the moment a sperm & egg unite, forming a zygote; this can happen naturally or in a laboratory.
5
19%
Human life begins when the zygote implants itself on the wall of the woman's uterus.
3
11%
Human life begins when a fetus can survive outside the womb when the most sophisticated medical equipment available is employed.
5
19%
Human life begins when a fetus can survive outside the womb without any medical assistance.
4
15%
Human life begins when the newborn draws its first breath.
4
15%
Human life begins when the mother believes it begins, or at the latest, at birth.
2
7%
 
Total votes : 27

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby NH Baritone » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:19 pm

All of life is a process, and our wayponts along that path arbitrary and culturally defined. You have certain values, but so does the woman whose womb is involved. In the rough process of regulating medical practice, where would you draw the line on when the legal system trumps your rights? Perhaps it is because I'm gay and have known government interference into the intimate details of my life, but in moments where values conflict so utterly & personally, I will always defer to the person most deeply involved. I will not have to live with the outcome nearly so much as she will, so the choice should be hers.
Diversity is the offspring of Liberty. Nonetheless, frightened, mainstream ideologues treat diversity like a bastard stepchild, instead of like a welcome indicator of our overall well-being.
User avatar
NH Baritone
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:38 am
Affiliation: Agnostic Atheistic Meditator

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby Angela » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:08 pm

NH Baritone wrote:All of life is a process, and our wayponts along that path arbitrary and culturally defined. You have certain values, but so does the woman whose womb is involved. In the rough process of regulating medical practice, where would you draw the line on when the legal system trumps your rights? Perhaps it is because I'm gay and have known government interference into the intimate details of my life, but in moments where values conflict so utterly & personally, I will always defer to the person most deeply involved. I will not have to live with the outcome nearly so much as she will, so the choice should be hers.


I understand where you are coming from, NH. Like I said, it's a difficult issue. I don't think any answer is perfect.

The thing is, there are two people "deeply involved." We can't say exactly when a fetus becomes a person, but we all agree that it's a person when it is born. But certainly it is a person at some point before that? And If we can kill it 5 minutes before birth, why not 5 minutes after? It's an arbitrary line. Why does it make a difference whether the baby lives inside or outside the womb? Premature babies are developmentally the same as those of the same gestational age that haven't been born yet. Why is it ok to kill the unborn ones? How does not being born yet make it less of a person?

I think a law that recognizes the gradual development of the fetus into a baby, a person, makes the most sense.
People are very open-minded about new things--as long as they're exactly like the old ones.
--Charles Kettering

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought.
--Joseph Campbell
User avatar
Angela
resident
resident
 
Posts: 230
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby Pseudonym » Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:06 pm

NH Baritone wrote:And as is often the case, the details provide for some truth to dwell in both of our statements.

Yes, I wasn't disagreeing with the facts that you presented, just clearing up one point.

I do think it's an important point, though: there are legal implications in most places if a fetus, past the normal age of viability, dies before birth. It's not the legally same as the death of an infant, but there's often a similar amount of paperwork.

NH Baritone wrote:In the US, 27 states issue Certificates of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth. The earliest this began was in 2001, which I have to point out was well into the national debate over abortion.

I have one reference which shows that Ohio has been issuing them before 1954, probably back to 1918.

One thing I didn't look into, but did note, was that the legal document that is criticised by the "birther" conspiracy theorists is a "certificate of live birth". The "live" qualification seems important, but I couldn't find a reference to any other kind of certificate of birth.

NH Baritone wrote:Australia & New Zealand register stillbirths, although I could not find whether they routinely issue a certificate to the parents.

I'm happy to say that it's never come up in my case. If I were making the rules, I'd rule that because it's such an emotional time, you only get a certificate if you ask for one. Either way, the rules might be different in each state.
User avatar
Pseudonym
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 1629
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:26 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Affiliation: Liberal Christian

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby whoosanightowl » Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:09 am

NH Baritone wrote:All of life is a process, and our wayponts along that path arbitrary and culturally defined. You have certain values, but so does the woman whose womb is involved. In the rough process of regulating medical practice, where would you draw the line on when the legal system trumps your rights? Perhaps it is because I'm gay and have known government interference into the intimate details of my life, but in moments where values conflict so utterly & personally, I will always defer to the person most deeply involved. I will not have to live with the outcome nearly so much as she will, so the choice should be hers.

I agree with tirtlegrrl and angela that lines need to be drawn for permitting legal abortions on a fetus that is constantly growing and developing, becoming more like a newborn infant each week.
The first trimester should remain legal to all women for any reason, even if I personally disagree with some of their reasons.
From 12 weeks until the gestational age of viability I think there should be restrictions that protect the fetus by giving it consideration and respect as a separate human being entitled to some rights of it's own.

After viability I believe abortion should be extremely rare and only allowed in extenuating circumstances such as the life of the mother is at high risk if she were to continue the pregnancy (and then they should try to deliver a live baby rather than to intentionally kill it) or in certain cases of severe defects in the fetus for which there is no treatment available and no hope of it ever living a somewhat normal life.

NHB, your experience of discrimination and government interference is different in that you are making decisions that will affect you alone, while a pregnant woman is making decisions for both herself and her unborn child, ultimately determining whether or not he/she should be allowed to live.
Alice:`There's no use trying, one can't believe impossible things.'
Queen:`...you haven't had much practice, When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
User avatar
whoosanightowl
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 2181
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:05 pm
Affiliation: atheist

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby humanguy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:31 pm

I think two things signify the begining of life: losing your virginity and getting your driver's license.
Most of us, just about all of us, have the capacity to be rock and rolled by a feeling of pure ecstatic raw joy. You do, don't you? We should respect each other for that.
User avatar
humanguy
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3878
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 3:50 pm
Location: Lumpen Post-Industrial District
Affiliation: Human

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby JustJim » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:30 am

humanguy wrote:I think two things signify the begining of life: losing your virginity and getting your driver's license.

Not necessarily in that order.... :smt077

Jim
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, refuses to go away...."
User avatar
JustJim
Senior member
Senior member
 
Posts: 3515
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 1:30 am
Location: Ohio - USA
Affiliation: Agnostic Atheist

Re: When does human life begin?

Postby davemccall » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:56 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:Well the absolute minimum requirement for the existence of a human mind is functioning human brain.

Thus human life begins between 20 and 22 weeks at the start of brain activity.


I pretty much agree with Mitchell. Except I take it from a different perspective. How do we define death? Shouldn't there be definitive bookends that parallel each other/define life in the same way? We define someone that is alive as having a living/active brain that can support the body without outside mechanical aids (other than something like a respirator or feeding tube). Someone that is brain dead, with no measurable brain waves is indeed dead. Their body can be kept alive, but it can also be "unplugged". So at the end of brainwave activity is the end of life. At the beginning of brainwave activity is where the beginning of life should be defined if we wish to remain consistent.
davemccall
new recruit
new recruit
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:03 am
Location: Warsaw, Indiana
Affiliation: Follower of Jesus

Previous

Return to Polls

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest