The Beginning Of Human Lifeand The Embryos: A Philosophicaland Theological Perspective



Life is a process which has a beginning and an end. Every health care professional, especially the one who “plays” more at these edges, should have a very clear position on when a human life begins and ends. This is very important, since the moral acceptability of some medical applications depends on the definition of these times. There are different views from the scholars in different academic fields on the time of the beginning of human life. Although there is not much debate on the “humanity” of a newborn, except some marginal philosophers, the moral status of the embryos and fetuses are still debated. In this presentation, it will be discussed whether determining the beginning and the end of life is a matter of moral or medical decisions. As it will immerge from the discussion that, it is a matter of moral decisions, the concept of human life will be defined from social sciences perspective, and the time of its beginning will try to be explored. The presentation will show that human life begins, therefore morally matters, in the womb at the beginning of 8th week after conception. After referring some bioethical concepts, like ‘human being’, ‘human person’ and ‘moral being’, all these conclusions will be applied to Assisted Human Reproduction, genetic cloning and stem cell research. Finally, under the light of these information, applicability of these techniques will be evaluated from cultural and faith tradition perspective.