Recently I attended a medical lecture on prenatal diagnostic testing. I was left with the question, “In the provision of this testing, what are we saying about the value of those disabled from birth?
Prenatal diagnostic testing is testing offered to pregnant moms to attempt to determine if their baby may have a condition like Down Syndrome or various other conditions resulting from chromosome and other genetic abnormalities. Earlier and earlier ways to identify these conditions in a pregnancy are looked for, since the primary purpose for this testing is to offer abortion of babies considered “defective” while it is still “safe” to do so.read more
When does a pre-born baby take on the status of a person?
In a previous blog posting titled, Personhood – What Is It?, I said that a person has intrinsic value with rights and responsibilities. Personhood, is to have the intrinsic value of a human being with all the rights and responsibilities that go along with being human.
In the blog posting titled, Personhood – Image of God, I showed that this special intrinsic value is given to mankind as part of their creation and “included a body formed from the dust of the earth and a soul, breathed into man by God.” The passages presented show that Adam became a living being when the breath of God was “breathed” into him. Generally we accept that new born babies are fully human with both body and soul.read more
Do organ donation and abortion have something in common? This may seem like an odd question. But the question does arise when one considers both organ donation and abortion in light of personhood or in light of what it means to be a person.
Many Christians reject abortion from the point of conception, citing conception as the beginning of a person’s life. Some pro-abortion people accept abortion in the early stages of pregnancy claiming that the embryo/fetus in early pregnancy is not yet a person. The more extreme view is that to be a person one has to be able to think. Since a fetus is not able to express thought, some would say that a fetus is not a person and abortion is justified at any stage. A less extreme view is that to be a person one needs brain activity, but not necessarily thinking. They would say that embryos and early fetuses that have not yet developed brains and that they would, thus, not yet be considered persons, could therefore be, justly, aborted. Defining personhood in terms of brain activity, excludes the very young from the protection of persons.read more
In the blog titled Personhood-the-most-important-question-today I raised the question with respect to Vital Organ Donation, “Does vital organ procurement result in the death of the person? Or is the person somehow separate from the body, such that the person can be dead and the body still alive?”
In blogs titled Personhood-What Is It? and Personhood-Image of God, I said that persons are specially created by God. Persons are the image of God. Persons are united body and soul. A persons special status begins at conception and continues until death, at which time the body returns to the dust and the soul goes to God.read more