Ectogenesis and the case against the right to the death of the foetus

Journal article


Blackshaw, BP and Rodger, D (2018). Ectogenesis and the case against the right to the death of the foetus. Bioethics. 33 (1), pp. 76-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12529
AuthorsBlackshaw, BP and Rodger, D
Abstract

Ectogenesis, or the use of artificial wombs to allow a foetus to develop, will likely become a reality within a few decades, and could significantly affect the abortion debate. We first examine the implications for Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist analogy, which argues for a woman’s right to withdraw life support from the foetus and so terminate her pregnancy, even if the foetus is granted full moral status. We show that on Thomson’s reasoning, there is no right to the death of the foetus, and abortion is not permissible if ectogenesis is available, provided it is safe and inexpensive. This raises the question of whether there are persuasive reasons for the right to the death of the foetus that could be exercised in the context of ectogenesis. Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis have examined several arguments for this right, doubting that it exists, while Joona Räsänen has recently criticized their reasoning. We respond to Räsänen’s analysis, concluding that his arguments are unsuccessful, and that there is no right to the death of the foetus in these circumstances.

KeywordsEctogenesis; Foetus; Moral Status; Pregnancy; 2201 Applied Ethics; 2203 Philosophy; Applied Ethics
Year2018
JournalBioethics
Journal citation33 (1), pp. 76-81
PublisherWiley
ISSN0269-9702
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12529
Publication dates
Print20 Oct 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Aug 2018
Accepted14 Aug 2018
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Rodger, D., and Blackshaw, B.P. (2018). Ectogenesis and the case against the right to the death of the foetus. Bioethics. which has been published in final form at 10.1111/bioe.12529 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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