The commonly used point in which a fetus becomes a person has become the slippery slope , of course for lack of a better a term. In order to define an entity as a person there is a need to have certain criteria to evaluate them as a person and to have rights. The main point of the criteria is to deem it morally right to terminate an unborn baby. What criteria should we use to draw the line, or cut the rope between the born and unborn?When a child first has brain waves they seem to have the capacity to act fully as a person if all goes well. This point is after eight weeks still in the first trimester. Before this point the fetus is only an embryo. But to have brain waves doesn t really make something a person. All animals have brain waves and we don t extend rights to them. Ms. Warren uses five criteria in determining personhood: consciousness, reasoning, self-motivation, the capacity to communicate, and the presence of self concepts. The problem with these criteria is the word capacity if we extend capacity to animals say the guerrilla in the San Diego zoo Koko then we must find it morally wrong to kill her young or other ape s who have the capacity to use sign language. Does that mean that Kokos children are people? Or that Koko is a person? That s for another discussion.The point in which the child can survive not attached to it s mother is a crucial point. While doing this paper I was told about a mother whose two children were born three month s premature. Those babies had to spend the next three month s or so in an incubator. But does that mean they aren t people for their premature birth? When their mother was born this immaturity might lead to death or brain defects. As technology advances whole new meaning s of life will be pioneered. Babies may no longer have to be bore by their mother. Their might be a time when the conception of life will be moved to an artificial womb and the termination of that life will have nothing to do with a mother s rights, and God forbid we ever forget what the term mother means.
To me the underlying criteria in which we should decide to judge a fetus as a person should be whether it can survive without being attached to it s mother. Until the day when an embryo can be raised outside of a mothers body or given to a other who wants a baby we must allow the mother to choose whether she wants to keep that baby as long as that baby does not have the capacity to live on it s own. But up until that point it is the mother s discussion to what she will with her body. But when the baby can live unattached to the mother we can assume that it would not want to terminate it s own life without ever breathing it s first breath.