Define ‘Personhood’

From Fox News:   North Dakota’s Senate has rejected legislation to bestow human rights on fertilized human eggs, whether they be in the womb or in a laboratory.

Senators voted 29-16 Friday to reject legislation that sought to define as a human being “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens.” The “personhood” status would include a developing embryo from the moment of conception, whether inside or outside the womb.

A handful of states are considering similar proposals, and the measure generated an intense lobbying campaign from abortion opponents and people who favor abortion rights.

Per-son-hood  [pur-suhn-hood] –noun 1.the state or fact of being a person.  2.the state or fact of being an individual or having human characteristics and feelings.

The CBHD says…Some bioethicists have attempted to deal with the issue of human personhood by either sidestepping it or making a distinction between human beings and human persons, putting the fetus in the former category but not the latter.

If one defines personhood on the basis of those who consciously performing personal acts, those who are asleep would be classified as non-persons and could be killed during a nap. If one defines personhood on the basis of those who have a present capacity to perform personal acts, those who are in a coma could be killed at any point during their coma.

Interesting, eh?

How did this happen – how did a child lose it’s personhood? We have to scrap for all of our ‘liberties’ that this current administration is trying to take away. Viability is the word of the day and it’s one big gaping loophole. Then I found this nugget:

The Personhood Theory:

Peter Singer of Princeton argues that unless an organism is self-aware over time, the entity in question is a non-person.  The British academic John Harris, the Sir David Alliance professor of bioethics at the University of Manchester, England, has defined a person as “a creature capable of valuing its own existence.” Other bioethicists argue that the basic threshold of personhood should include the capacity to experience desire. James Hughes, who is more explicitly radical than many bioethicists (or perhaps, just more candid), has gone so far as to assert that people like Terri Schiavo are “sentient property.”

So who are the so-called human non-persons? All embryos and fetuses, to be sure. But many bioethicists also categorize newborn infants as human non-persons (although some bioethicists refer to healthy newborns as “potential persons”). So too are those with profound cognitive impairments such as Terri Schiavo and President Ronald Reagan during the latter stages of his Alzheimer’s disease.

Personhood theory would reduce some of us into killable and harvestable people. Harris wrote explicitly that killing human non-persons would be fine because “Non-persons or potential persons cannot be wronged” by being killed “because death does not deprive them of something they can value. If they cannot wish to live, they cannot have that wish frustrated by being killed.”

These distinctions are not based based on on any moral sense of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual  but on convenience.  What was inconceivable thirty years ago is reality today.  Once it’s determined that you can kill newborn infants and those who lack self-awareness, what’s to stop the killing of the profoundly retarded, then the minimally retarded, than the stupid.  Where do you draw the line?

We should be concerned, even scared. This is the precursor to the Freedom of Choice Act.

 

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