PHIL 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Negative And Positive Rights, Fetus

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Judith Jarvis Thompson
Acorn is not an oak tree
Grants that fetuses are people
oUnconscious violinist has fatal kidney thing
oYou have right blood type to keep him alive
oYou were kidnapped
oTo unplug you will kill him
oIf would be nice if you went along bout you don’t have to
Regarded outrageous
Something wrong with anti-choice argument
Parallel example argument
Concludes that sometimes even if the fetus is a person abortion is ok
This applies to rape because in this case she was impregnated against her will
oWomen did not agree
oWomen however can still live their lives (dipsacaceous to being in bed with thee
violinist) Debilitating pregnancy
oRape and debilitation and no biological relation
Abortion is permissible
Cannot be impermissible if women kill fetus to save her life especially if it will die anyway (self-
defense)
oWomen can kill fetus herself
General Right -> right to life
oNegative rich – right that people not take things away from you
oNOT A DUTY TO ASSIST
Specific right ->right to body
oOnly given with other person’s consent
o[positive right
oDo not owe the fetus the use of my body it is an imperfect duty
Once your entry you have positive right
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