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PHLB09H3 (97)
Chad Horne (24)

Week 13 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Chad Horne

Lecture 13 October 25, 2011 • judges are engaged in the kind of reasoning that we are engaged in within this course • legal principals on their own do not decide the entire decision -not just about what the law is; it is about the moral ideal behind the law • Roby Wade -the fundamental question that the course has to decide is how to balance the interest that the state has in protecting a potential life to the right that a woman has to a certain degree of privacy in her life • first thing to look at is whether the fetus should be thought of as a person • in any law other than that of banning abortion, the law abides by life starting after the child is born • whatever the moral ad religious question may be, the law has never treated the fetus as a person and when it does it is contingent upon the fetus actually being born alive -these interests are balanced through a three step decision: 1. for the stage prior to the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision should be left up to the woman 2. for the stage subsequent to this, the state may decide to follow through with an abortion provided that those restrictions are there to protect a womanʼs life 3. from the 26th week onward, abortion could be there to protect the life of the fetus but they have to make exceptions sometimes when the life of the mother could be at stake • In Vitro fertilization -literally meaning in glass -used as a treatment for infertility -refers to a procedure where a human sperm and egg are united in a test tube and then implanted in a womanʼs uterus 1.the mother is given hormones to stimulate egg production 2. there is a minor surgery to harvest eggs 3. eggs are fertilized with sperm in the test tube 4. they are grown in a culture for a couple of days 5. transferred back to a womanʼs uterus • broadly speaking we can divide objections of in vitro fertilization into five categories: 1. sexual morality -in vitro separates pro creation from sex -involves masturbation to get the sperm 2. treatment of the embryos -necessary to cultivate a number of embryos because the likelihood of the pregnancy is low if you donʼt -necessary process of selection that goes into what embryos will be implanted and what will not 3. harms to persons: mother or child -divided into physical harms and moral harms -physical harms: may be complications of infections that may result to the mother because of the multiple surgeries involved -children born are more susceptible to birth defects -moral harms: the idea of creating human life in a test tube, viewing the child as a thing and a product of human science, harmful moral effects on the woman 4. social justice: is it really a good idea to spend social resources creating more babies in the world? 5. effects on the broader culture: is this a good thing for human culture and our collective moral life; if we view infertile women as objects that can be manipulated to have a child, is that a good thing for our culture? • sexual morality -natural law theory: official position of the roman catholic church -there are standards of right conduct that are discernible in nature through reason -part of Godʼs plan/reasonableness of the natural world -the appropriate thing to do is use nature and determine its nature and purpose and to live in harmony with that purpose -what it is to be a real human being is to use our rationality -st. thomas aquinas -as adopted by the vatican: using our bodies out of purpose is a violation of nature or of Godʼs law... -official position of the Roman Catholic Church -Godʼs purpose is to do a certain thing for the purpose that they were intended -separates the aspect of marriage from sex and procreation -peter singer is right to say that it may be true that in vitro fertilization is unnatural but so does everything else that medicine does -therefore we must reject all medicine -the question on whether t
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