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J Med Philos. 2003 Feb;28(1):45-78.

Sixteen days.

Author information

1
Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. phismith@buffalo.edu

Abstract

When does a human being begin to exist? We argue that it is possible, through a combination of biological fact and philosophical analysis, to provide a definitive answer to this question. We lay down a set of conditions for being a human being, and we determine when, in the course of normal fetal development, these conditions are first satisfied. Issues dealt with along the way include: modes of substance-formation, twinning, the nature of the intra-uterine environment, and the nature of the relation between fetus and mother (connection, parthood, dependence).

PMID:
12715281
DOI:
10.1076/jmep.28.1.45.14172
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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