Fetal Humanity and Brain Function

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Baruch Brody begins his argument by making assumptions that a fetus, being a human being must acquire all the essential properties of a human being, such that the loss of any would lead to out of existence or death. Thus, the essential property of a human being is the property whereby the loss would result in the death of the human being. From the Brain-Death theory, death is defined as an irreparable cessation of brain function. Therefore, it follows that a fetus becomes a human being when it possesses the essential property of a human being that is, having a brain that has not suffered irreparable cessation of function. To reinforce this conviction, he added that by the sixth week of conception, when the fetus possesses a functioning brain, all the other properties that are required for being human are also present. However, when the fetus acquires all the necessary properties by the sixth week, the fetal brain is still not developed to support spontaneous motion until the third month. Some may argue that the fetus does not comes into humanity until the point of spontaneous movement, so it would be precise to say that fetus becomes a human being at some time between the sixth and twelfth week after its conception.

According to Ramsey’s theory of death, human being goes out of existence or dies only when all the essential properties of being human- that is, the possession of the brain, heart and lung- suffer irreparable cessation of function. And the fetus becomes a human when it acquires any one of the properties. The fetal heart is developed at the second week, prior to the brain and lung. Thus, based on the theory of essentialism, the fetus becomes a human being at week two. However, as there are progressive developments in the functioning of the fetal heart, it would be more accurate to conclude that the fetus becomes a human being some time between the second and twelfth week of conception.

Between the second and twelfth week after conception, the...
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