banner
 
The Epistolizer

  Home >> Blogs >> Issue Of Personhood Foundational In Bioethical Debates

this user is offline now  epistolizer
Send message

Subscribe



Categories:
  Art & Photography
  Entertainment
  Religion & Philosophy
  News & Politics

Archive:
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002

Who Gives Kudos:



 

   Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Issue Of Personhood Foundational In Bioethical Debates

In numerous bioethical debates approached from a secular perspective, many seemingly noble principles such as autonomy, individual choice, dignity, the common good, and the preservation of limited resources are invoked to justify various positions. However, when these complex issues are approached from a Judeo-Christian perspective, many times the implications and morality of these decisions are altered profoundly.

Perhaps the most fundamental concern raised by a standpoint informed by the principles of the Bible is none other than personhood. Though something we each possess, its value varies drastically depending on the worldview each of us brings to the concept.

For example, to the person living out a consistently evolutionary or materialistic perspective, the idea of personhood is not that important since it is merely an arbitrarily contrived social and intellectual construct with no inherent worth other than what we decide to give it. Thus, it is no major concern if the concept is altered to exclude those at the extreme ends of life’s continuum unable to sustain themselves apart from intensive medical intervention.

However, if one approaches the matter from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the concept of personhood impacts dramatically the techniques and procedures one finds morally justifiable. Since man is made in the image of God, the life and spirit of man (his personhood if you will) is unique in all of creation. As such, it is due a respect placing it just below the reverence due God Himself.

Since the human being holds a special place in the heart of God, it is God Himself that establishes the guidelines regarding how we are permitted to relate to and treat other human beings. In Genesis 9:6, where God establishes His covenant with Noah it says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man”. Later in the Ten Commandments this decree is reiterated in the command “Thou shalt not commit murder”.

From this, it is established that it is morally incorrect to take an innocent human life not having itself taken another human life. Therefore, it is improper to deliberately take a human life that does not threaten yours or has not violated the law.

Since the minds of men dwell continually on evil, a number of wily thinkers attempt to skirt around the issue by redefining personhood to make it distinct from the humanity of these individuals facing the prospects of having these procedures inflicted upon them. However, even these attempts prove inadequate as they endeavor to describe things how some would like them to be rather than how God created them.

For humanity/personhood is something one possesses inherently rather than bestowed upon you as a result of having reached some developmental milestone. The individual remains a distinct biological entity throughout the continuum of existence.

If anything, by limiting personhood to those having reached some arbitrary standard such as viability, quickening, or sentience speaks more to the limitations of medical science than an actual state of ontology. And with advances, these frontiers are being pushed back further all the time.

Things are now to the point where doctors are able to do surgery inside the mother’s womb. A photo of one such procedure where a tiny hand reached out of the mother’s abdomen got Matt Drudge fired from the Fox News Network. It was feared such an image might unsettle or disturb the consciences of viewers regarding the issue of abortion.

Scott Rae in “Moral Choices: An Introduction To Ethics” concludes his examination of the abortion issue with the following argument advocating for personhood of the unborn: “(1) An adult human being is the end result of the continuous growth of the organism from conception... (2) From conception to adulthood this development has no break that is relevant to the essential nature of the fetus... (3) Therefore, one is a human person from the point of conception onward (142).”

by Frederick Meekins

Mood:
12:20 PM - 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

  Comments
 
|
|
|
|
|
 
Copyright © 2009 - 2012 True2ourselves. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.