The Start of Human Life

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For many years, the stage at which human life begins has been debatable. Many people believe that human life can only begin after birth. Is that really the case? The question at hand is best worded by Anthony Kenny in his section of Stem Cells, Human Embryos, and Ethics: “When did I begin? When does any individual human being begin? At what stage of its development does a human organism become entitled to the moral and legal protection which we five to the life of human adults? Is it at conception, or at birth, or somewhere between the two” (Kenny 167)? Many people believe that life begins during the embryonic stage, and there are many scholars that support this theory. This major debate stems from the opinion on whether or not it is morally sound to extract stem cells from embryos. Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University and Dr. Patrick Lee of Franciscan University state in the EMBO Reports that the only difference in human life is “in degree of maturation, not in kind, between any of the stages from embryo, to fetus, infant, and so on” (George and Lee 1). Many people believe that even in the embryonic stage, there is life, and this theory can be used to prove that life indeed does begin at the embryonic stage. George and Lee write that: If, as we believe, human embryos are human beings who deserve the same basic respect we accord to human beings at later developmental stages, then research that involves deliberately dismembering embryonic humans in order to use their cells for the benefit of others is inherently wrong. Just as harvesting the organs of a living child for the benefit of others is immoral and illegal, so ‘disaggregating’ embryonic human beings should also be immoral and should be illegal—of course governments should therefore not fund such procedures. (p. 1) This is indeed a very logical statement that reasons with the moral value of life. If
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