Human Exceptionalism

Another Brain Dead Mother Baby Gestation

A woman in Canada has been declared brain dead, but her widowed husband is allowing her to remain on medical support so that his son can be gestated to viability.

Is this another case in which some would denigrate maintaining the mother’s viability as somehow undignified–as happened in the Marlise Munoz tragedy? Or, is gestation in this case acceptable because of the continuing development of this unborn child?

Or, is it the fact that the child is wanted by his father that makes the moral difference? Or instead–even if he were unwanted–because the child is likely to develop until he can be safely delivered?

If we value the unborn child because he or she is a developing human being, it will be the latter opinion. 

If we think a fetus’s value is dependent on the feelings of those with the power to decide whether to continue the pregnancy–then the former.

I think an unborn child should be viewed as having value in his or her own right, wanted or not. He or she is a nascent human being. Whatever others may think doesn’t change that intrinsic nature. 


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