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Mary Anne Warren and the Boundaries of the Moral Community.

  • Academic Journal
  • Furlan T; Center for Ethical Leadership, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas77006, USA.
  • Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics : CQ : the international journal of healthcare ethics committees [Camb Q Healthc Ethics] 2022 Apr; Vol. 31 (2), pp. 230-246.
  • English
  • In her important and well-known discussion "On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion," Mary Anne Warren regrets that "it is not possible to produce a satisfactory defense of a woman's right to obtain an abortion without showing that the fetus is not a human being, in the morally relevant sense." Unlike some more cautious philosophers, Warren thinks that we can definitively demonstrate that the fetus is not a person. In this paper, Warren's argument is critically examined with a focus especially on the question of the foundation and the boundaries of the moral community. The fundamental thesis of the paper is that Warren's approach is flawed for at least four reasons: (1) that being a person is not as obviously central to having full moral rights as Warren assumes, (2) that her exclusivism regarding moral status has dubious moral consequences independent of the abortion issue, (3) that it is not clear that a fetus is not a person, even on Warren's own criteria, and (4) her criteria for personhood are themselves suspect.
Additional Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press Country of Publication: United States NLM ID: 9208482 Publication Model: Print Cited Medium: Internet ISSN: 1469-2147 (Electronic) Linking ISSN: 09631801 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Camb Q Healthc Ethics Subsets: MEDLINE
Original Publication: New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, c1992-
Keywords: abortion*; dignity*; moral community*; moral status*; personhood*; rights*
Date Created: 20220304 Date Completed: 20220425 Latest Revision: 20220425

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