Guiding principles for prenatal diagnosis

N. Fost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the reasons for the persistence of the debate over fetal versus maternal rights is that it involves not one question but many. It would be a less anguishing issue if it could be reduced to a simple binary question, such as whether the fetus is a person. But such reductionism is as foolish as the attempt to reduce patriotism to the pledge of allegiance. Indeed, one of the primary functions of ethical analysis is to 'unpack' such questions, and reveal their complexity, so that decision-makers do not err by over-simplification, by failing to even consider important dimensions of the problem facing them. The debate over the moral status of the fetus involves an enormous range of issues, including experimentation, transplantation, sale of body parts, new ways of creating life, patenting of life forms, genetic engineering, definitions of life and death, and, of course, abortion. Abortion itself is not one controversy, but many, including such questions as the relevance of fetal age and development, the definition of viability, the ability of the fetus to suffer, the relevance of potential, the voluntariness of the pregnancy, the woman's reasons for termination, the mode of termination, the prospects for the baby if born, the father's standing in the decision, the disposition of fetal remains, and the duties to live abortuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-337
Number of pages3
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Volume9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Prenatal Diagnosis
Fetus
Ethical Analysis
Aptitude
Genetic Engineering
Fetal Development
Human Body
Fathers
Gestational Age
Transplantation
Mothers
Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Guiding principles for prenatal diagnosis. / Fost, N.

In: Prenatal Diagnosis, Vol. 9, No. 5, 1989, p. 335-337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fost, N 1989, 'Guiding principles for prenatal diagnosis', Prenatal Diagnosis, vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 335-337.
Fost, N. / Guiding principles for prenatal diagnosis. In: Prenatal Diagnosis. 1989 ; Vol. 9, No. 5. pp. 335-337.
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