At what point would you consider a fetus a human?
I don't want to get into the whole abortion debate, I just want to know how you would decide if something was human or not. An individual or a part.
I come from El Salvador where the legislation considers the first day of conception or the day where a pregnancy test is found positive as the first day of a unborn human and requires the parents and doctors to provide the proper care to preserve his life until he is born.
Birth. Before that it's a fetus. It should be happy it's a fetus. It most places, as a fetus, it has more rights than a human. Especially if it's female.
When it takes its 1st breath on its own... Life requires more than a heart beat...
technically a "fetus" is a fetus until it is born and its body can sustain itself without the mother, so birth I suppose in that light.
The part I find curious is that you wrote until after it is born and can sustain itself, does that mean a baby in NICU is not a baby, but still a fetus?
Or.. what about Babies who are yet born but fully capable of sustaining life if removed from the womb early?
I said until it's born - an unborn baby can't be in a NICU - how does a premature baby have anything to do with the question? A baby in utero is a human feturs. A fetus inside of its mother is not self-sustaining human life until born.
A most intruiging and perceptive question. I wonder what your own view is?
I am sure that the issue of being human is not just down to breathing unaided, as some people suggest.
All animals breathe!
It surely is not the physical aspects alone which make a foetus human. Are we saying that in the seconds immediately prior to birth, a foetus is not human and that, as it passes from its mother, into the world, sheds the umbilical cord and has the membrane pierced, thereby allowing it to breathe, that in the same instant, it becomes human?
What do people consider the foetus is before that? Alien?
I think a foetus is human from the moment when the egg is fertilized and then begins to divide.
What happens then, in the next 39-40 weeks, is that the foetus goes through various stages of human development.
Would we say that, prior to birth, a puppy is not a puppy?
That until full term has been reached and it has been born, a baby elephant is not really an elephant?
I believe that we are human from the moment we are conceived until the time of our heart's very final beat.
The moment the child is conceived. At that point, the child is an individual with DNA that defines who they will become. However, they need their mother to survive.
I think the moment it can first be determined... once there is knowledge that a life is growing ; there IS a life growing. It is sad that people want to ignore that fact when they decide to have often would is termed casual sex; but how can an act that can creat life ever be considered casual????
In my personal opinion, whether you use the term "human" or "alive," I would say it would be at the point at which it could survive on its own if born prematurely.
"Human" could as easily be substituted by any other species--it is what it is by division of cells from the moment of conception, yes; that' is a matter of determination by the DNA, but it is not 'alive' until it is viable on its own.
Sperm is human sperm, egg is human egg, what's not human?
From the moment the sperm penetrates the ovarie and the cell separates it begins to develop into a human. It is a human. After being engaged for 2 years I became pregnant. I didn't want my husband-to-be to feel trapped into a marriage we were not ready for so I proposed an abortion. He was in his village at the time and by the time he came to the city I was living in I died a thousand deaths.
I had not fallen in love with just any man, but the right man. He of course, told me that such a proposition was not an option. At the time I was three weeks pregnant.
The fetus in the picture is four weeks old. If this were yours would you be able to say it isn't human?
The question is, is it a person in the sense that you or I are? The answer for me is no, it isn't. I wouldn't feel bad at all about destroying what you show in your picture.
So you would be OK with destroying it even if it was a picture of you? Presumably you did go through this stage, yourself.
Sterling Sage - So if I don't feel bad about destroying a person it is okay? Who gets to decide when it is okay to kill someone?
Sterling: If someone had destroyed YOU at that stage YOU would never have been born and YOU would not have had a full life.
I used to feel the same way as you before my fist child (the incident above) and I think I did answer the question. A fetus,like the one above, senses danger (in an abortion) and crawls to the top of the womb. YES it's human.
Each situation is different. I can see how some would be fine aborting a fetus at this stage. It makes zero sense to bring an unwanted child into this world.
I understand that different people feel differently. It's just my perspective.
To answer your questions, yes, it would have been ok if I were not born. I wouldn't have any chance to be unhappy about it, and someone else would have a life instead.
At the moment that it is conceived it is human. The DNA of the organism is of the human genome.
We are human even after death. Consider this. Human remains are found to be two thousand years old. Is it not human? If it isn't what is it? Yes it is dead but the attributes and the DNA are still human. It looks human and when it was alive, it was human. We are human as long as a part of us is still around.
However to determine when the organism is considered alive is a different question entirely. This is where the different opinions come into play.
This is a loaded question and it really depends on personal opinion. It really makes you think though and I think I'm going to opt out of this question because no matter what I say someone else will have a different opinion. There is no right or wrong answer to this question.
There is a deeper philosophical question in this; if we were to consider life to begin at conception, why do we celebrate birthdays, and have the birthday as an indication of how long an individual has been alive? I know, not really an answer to your question, but I don't think anyone would really be able to answer this question.
I suppose if I were to become pregnant, I would consider my fetus to be life. Especially if it is already kicking; clearly it would have it's own individual thoughts.
I would think we celebrate "birth"days because that is when the baby is born, not necessarily because that is when the baby becomes alive. An "alive"day would be hard to determine because people can't usually deterine day of conception or heart beat
We celebrate Birthdays because that is the day the baby was born. I also celebrate the days I got a positive pregnancy test. With my first I found I was pregnant May 1st 2008 and my second I found out June 17 2011.
When it shows evidence of consciousness, like reacting to mild external stimuli.
Without consciousness it is just a mass of cells.
Determining exactly when that happens is the major problem. At some point a mass of cells becomes aware and thus becomes a person. I suspect that the variation in the period after conception at which consciousness arises is around a week, but I am not a medic so I could be wrong.
As soon as the fetus has the same DNA as any other human.
according to the mediums such as John Edwards and Edgar Cayce, the living spirit does not enter the body until just before, or just after, birth. Yes, it is true in one sense that the products of conception ARE human when sperm meets egg, but ARE NOT human until they are viable and able to live on the outside without the mother.
Everyone has their own opinions on this subject, but in the long run it is the mother who ultimately has the only right to decide whether to carry this fetus full term or not. These decisions are between the parents and the physician and no one else. And these kinds of discussions serve no purpose other than to inflame the passions of those who would force their beliefs onto others.
So, the question itself cannot be answered by any living being on this planet unless you take it literally. Only humans can produce human offspring, as is true of every other living species on this planet.
Does the father not have the right? I always hear people say that it is the mother's body and she can choose to do what she wants to do. What if she wants to terminate and the father wants to keep his child?
In respect to intentional pregnancies U R correct. In the case of rape & incest, (or a fetus that is grossly malformed), the father has no say at all unless he is the one caring for it 24/7. Life is never simply black or white.
In the case of rape or incest should the father have any say? No!
I'm a believer in human at conception, otherwise what is it? A tadpole? Sure it is a fetus but its human and a baby at conception.
I have a 13 year old and when I was pregnant with her she was my baby, never a fetus, always human.
fetus isn't a bad word - and it's what all of our babies are when we carry them. I loved my babies too but they were still embryos then fetuses etc.
No matter how you cut it, a fetus/embryo is still a human baby, just a different stage of development. Just because they are not fully formed, does not mean they have less value.
A fetus is a human the day the fetus is conceived! It is a living being! My kids were moving around before I could feel them. They responded to certain movements and sounds.
My definition of a human is the child of two other humans. Mom is human, dad is human so unborn child is human as well. Mom cannot be pregnant with any other being therefore she is pregnant with a human baby.
A fetus is a child who is not born yet.
If a baby is to die in the womb does that mean he/she does not deserve the proper burial? Since the baby never was able to live on their own? --Not being judge mental just wondering others opinions.
It is human from the beginning, if its parents were human.
I guess you could say it is a human embryo and a human fetus to start with.-- nevertheless, still human.
If if two chimps or two ducks or two of any other species conceive they conceive a chimp or a duck or whatever species they are... not a human.
Letters are put together forming words which we assign meaning to this or that. The entire debate is skewed by the language and definition of those words which is entirely man made.
Once the egg and sperm unite, an entity is created. It really doesn't matter what you want to call it or at what point - Human, life, fetus, blastocyst, morula, etc., these definitions could just as easily be called something else and at another time. A blastocyst is no different than a fetus or a human. Just as a a child is no different than an adolescent or an adult. You either have a living entity, or you don't.
The problem with science is it tries to compartmentalize everything and it often misses the forest for the trees. I see this all the time in medicine.
A fetus is as human as it gets at conception. Just because it is small does not mean it is not human. You can choose to call it whatever you want, it is still a baby, a human baby.
A Human Fetus is human... Period... So it remains a Human Fetus until it becomes either a Human Fetal Corpse after it has been killed... or until it becomes a human Infant at birth. Your Choice?
I love the answers that are being given, but I must also ask about the child after birth. They are still developing their body, they are not technically out of the fetal stage upon birth unlike most mammals. Would they be considered human?
Or a premature baby born at 21 weeks, is that considered human or just a fetus? Where can we draw the line between human and not?
Most concede humanness upon conception, the question should be when do personhood and rights begin? Are the mother's rights equal to or greater or lesser than the embryo? Human rights are involved and must be the point of consideration for all.
Clearly this is a very senstive topic where the American people are about split down the middle by opinion on Pro Life or Pro Choice. I can just say speaking for myself that I was once Pro-Choice. What changed my view long before I became a parent was watching an abortion on video. I found it to be one if the most heinus acts I had ever seen. It completely changed my perspective. At that time I was quite young and abortion was really just a word, prior to seeing one. I don't think I really understood what was happening to the child.
Later on through education I learned that a child in the womb begins to develop a central nervous system within the first month of pregnancy. By the third month it is nearly fully developed. This simply tells me that while the child after brith has no memory of the events within the womb, it can feel pain while it's experiencing it. That for me was enough to change my opinion. Considering many couples are unaware of a pregnancy until past this point, it makes it hard for me to imagine hurting your own offspring. I am not saying anyone has to agree with me, since the supreme court does not. Thats just my view.
The embryonic offspring of any two humans is human. But to add to that the state of personhood is an entirely different matter. To add to that the concept of "rights" is an entirely different matter. To me the question is not just a matter of "humanness", but a matter of personhood and rights. Why would an embryo have more rights that the mother or father of that unborn human? Why is the "life" of the fetus more important or have more value than the life of the mother or father? IMHO humanness can be conferred upon all blastocyts, embryos and fetuses, but personhood and rights would come at the moment of birth. Prior to that moment, the well-being of all others must have more value. To injure or allow life threatening illness to disable the mother for the sake of the unborn fetus is inhumane and a violationof her human rights.
at what point do human cells stop being human cells? any man that is capable of reproducing has sperm created from his body, therefore those sperm cells are human, right?
any woman that is capable of reproducing has eggs created in her body, therefore those egg cells are human also, right?
well, if the above two statements are true, then, when human sperm cells meet human egg cells the result is babies.... human from the point the sperm meets the egg.
You've asked the wrong question. My skin cells aren't just skin cells, they're human skin cells. My bones are just bones, they're human bones, and will be so long after my death. Assuming I was pregnant, the zygote in my uterus wouldn't just be a zygote, it would be a human zygote.
The mere fact of humanity says nothing about personhood or individuality, both of which the abortion debate tends to center around.
I don't think you can separate the abortion debate from the question. That being said, I know my beliefs say that life begins at conception. Others have beliefs that say differently. But I suspect that a debate on this topic does very little to change the opinions of those whose minds are already made up; it only changes the minds of those who are on the fence.
From conception. If indeed its parents are human, as Rochell Frank points out, then is is a human from the beginning. Simple as that.
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