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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

Since I contribute to this blog so often, it’s only natural that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about when human life begins. I’ve also talked to many people about it. One thing I’ve learned is that, for many, the question is simple and the answer is plain. Conception.

For others, it’s more complex. Some look to brain life for the answer, reasoning that since we’ve managed to adopt a socially acceptable (for the most part) definition of brain death, the reverse should work as well. (This is the route taken by Sass, whose theory was an impetus for creating this blog.) Many evaluate various levels of brain development, finding their answers at four weeks, eight weeks, six months, and points in between. Others consider various stages of embryonic development – implantation, differentiation, quickening, viability, etc.

Sometimes I think how nice to be as sure as those who never question their belief. How peaceful to be free from doubt, to never feel compelled to think beyond one’s accepted answer. This is what I believe. Slam. No questions asked.

I am cursed, however, with an inability to NOT question. I am condemned to ask, decide, second-guess, reconsider, waffle, fence-straddle, flip-flop, and worry myself to death with “buts” and “what ifs.” Of one thing am I certain. I will never know the serenity of certainty.

Which brings me to my latest explorations into the beginning of human life. My next few posts will address the multiple paths an embryo might take before it implants in the uterus. I think I’ll start with twinning.

Brain Pills
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
Dave's site
Stem Stall
Bush the hypocrite

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