i This paper was delivered by Dr. Irving, representing the Catholic Medical Association of the United States, and the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, at the Scientific Conference, "The Guadalupan Appeal: The Dignity and Status of the Human Embryo", Mexico City, Mexico, October 28, 1999. Dr. Irving is a former career-appointed bench research biochemist/biologist (NIH, NCI, Bethesda, MD), an M.A. and Ph.D. philosopher (Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.), and Professor of the History of Philosophy, and of Medical Ethics. Emphases are used throughout only to aid readers from different disciplines. Final editing January 3, 2000. [Back]
ii See DIANNE NUTWELL IRVING, Philosophical and Scientific Analysis of the Nature of the Early Human Embryo, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Graduate School, Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Philosophy, 1991; C. WARD KISCHER and DIANNE N. IRVING (eds.), The Human Development Hoax: Time To Tell The Truth!, distributed by the American Life League, Stafford, VA, 1997 [this book is a collection of previously peer reviewed and published articles in academic journals written independently by both Dr. Kischer and by Dr. Irving]; D.N. IRVING, "When do human beings begin? 'Scientific' myths and scientific facts", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 1999, 19:3/4:22-47; for direct quotations and references from human embryology textbooks respected worldwide, see notes 37-41, 44, 46-48, 51-58, infra. [Back]
iii For a few readings on the correct formation of conscience, see ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica, (Fathers of the English Dominican Province, trans.), Westminster, MD: Christian Classics, 1981, Ia, q. 79, art. 13, ans. p. 408; ibid., Ia IIae, q. 6, art. 8, ans., p. 621-622; ibid., Ia IIae, q. 19, arts. 5,6, pp. 674-676; AUSTIN FAGOTHEY, Right and Reason, St. Louis, MO: The C.V. Mosby Company, 1963, p. 48-51 (note: later editions do not always follow the original text, and are not recommended); VERNON J. BOURKE, Ethics, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1953, pp. 197-208 ; JOSEPH CARDINAL RATZINGER, Conscience and Truth, Braintree, MA: Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1991, esp. pp. 4, 7-8, 11, 17-18. [Back]
iv For additional readings on the moral decision making process, see ARISTOTLE, Ethica Nichomachea, in Richard McKeon (trans.), The Basic Works of Aristotle, New York: Random House, 1941, pp. 1030-1036; FAGOTHEY (1963), pp. 23-30; BOURKE (1953), pp. 212-213, 243-254. For the relationship between the virtues and the moral decision making process, see ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia IIae, q. 58, 59, pp. 833-841; ARISTOTLE, Ethica Nicomachea, esp. 6.12.1144a, 34-37, p 1035 . As applied to science, see D.N. IRVING and ADIL E. SHAMOO, "Which ethics for science and public policy?", Accountability in Research 1993, 3:77-100; D.N. IRVING, "Quality assurance auditors: Between a rock and a hard place", Quality Assurance: Good Practice, Regulation, and Law, March 1994, 3:1:33-52. [Back]
1 D.N. IRVING, "Post abortion syndrome: Getting the facts straight", Linacre Quarterly 1994, 61:1:3-6; ibid., "Academic fraud and conceptual transfer in bioethics: Abortion, human embryo research and psychiatric research", in Joseph W. Koterski (ed.), Life and Learning IV 1995, Washington, D.C.: University Faculty For Life, pp. 193-215; ibid., "Individual testimony before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel -- March 14, 1994", Linacre Quarterly, May 1994, 61:2:42-62; ibid., "Testimony on Cloning: House of Representatives -- Feb. 12, 1998", Linacre Quarterly, May/June 1999, 66:2:26-40; ibid., "The impact of scientific 'misinformation on other fields: Philosophy, theology, biomedical ethics and public policy", Accountability in Research 1993, 2:4:243:272; ibid., (my amicus curiae briefs on "fetal personhood" to the U.S. Supreme Court) Alexander Loce v. The State of New Jersey, and Krail v. The State of New Jersey cert denied_U.S._(1994)(No. 93-1149) -- and J.M. v. V.C. July 3, 1993; ibid., " Stem cell research: Some pros and cons", UFL PRO VITA: Newsletter of the University Faculty for Life, Oct. 1999, 10:1:1-2. [Back]
2 E.g., St. Thomas, following Aristotle, makes a distinction between the subject matters and epistemologies of philosophy and theology. These are two different (but related) "sciences". The subject matter of philosophy is "being in general" or ens commune, known through the light of reason alone, and the method is separatio (the negative judgment); God is not the subject matter of philosophy, but rather the object of it. The subject matter of theology is God, and the epistemology or method is faith, Divine Revelation and the teachings of the Magisterium: see, ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, The Division and Method of the Sciences, Armand Maurer (trans.), Toronto: The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1986, ftnt. 21, p. xxii. Relevant to this distinction, and to further discussions below, the Moral Law is composed of both natural law (philosophy) and Divine Revelation (theology). As Humanae Vitae explains: "It is, in fact, indisputable, as our predecessors have many times declared, that Jesus Christ, when communicating to Peter and to the apostles His divine authority and sending them to teach all nations His commandments, constituted them as guardians and authentic interpreters of all the moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel, but also of the natural law, which is also an expression of the will of God [i.e., participates in the Eternal Law], the faithful fulfillment of which is equally necessary for salvation." (Humanae Vitae, Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1968, p. 2.). [Back]
3 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, ST (1981), Ia IIae q. 19, art. 7, ans. 3, p. 676; ibid., De Ente et Essentia, Armand Mauer (trans.), Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1983, p. 28; ARISTOTLE, De Coelo, in The Basic Works of Aristotle (McKeon, 1941), 1.5.271b, 9-10, p. 404. [Back]
5 Not only can the use of incorrect science as our starting point negatively impact our understanding of philosophical anthropology (i.e., the study of human nature), but using different ethical principles from different philosophical schools of ethics can also lead to contradictory conclusions about which actions are right or wrong. There seems to be a general sense that secular "bioethics" is equivalent to "medical ethics in general", but this is not accurate. Secular bioethics is actually a very recent phenomenon -- a specific academic theory of ethics which was originated by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, and articulated in their 1979 Belmont Report. The bioethical principles they defined (which are their starting points for determining which actions are ethical or unethical) are "autonomy", "justice" and "beneficence". On the other hand, the ethical principles used by the Roman Catholic Church are philosophical natural law, Divine Revelation, and the teachings of the Magisterium (or, the Moral Law). Obviously this explains why these two different ethical systems come to often contradictory ethical conclusions. For a very short history of academic secular bioethics, its theoretical and practical deficiencies, and its comparison with Roman Catholic medical ethics, see DIANNE N. IRVING, "Which ethics for the 21st century?: A comparison of secular bioethics and Roman Catholic medical ethics", paper presented at the John Carroll Society Rose Mass, Washington, D.C., Mar. 14, 1999 (available upon request); ibid., D. IRVING, "Which ethics for science and public policy?", Accountability in Research 1993, 3:2-3:77-99; ibid., "Quality assurance auditors: Between a rock and a hard place", Quality Assurance: Good Practice, Regulation, and Law 1994, 3:1:33-52; ibid., "Maryland State proposed statute for research using 'decisionally incapacited' human subjects: The legalization of a defunct normative bioethics theory", Accountability in Research (in press).
For other short histories and concerns "pro" and "con" about secular bioethics as a viable academic field, see, e.g.: H. TRISTRAM ENGELHARDT, JR., "Bioethics in the Third Millennium: Some critical anticipations", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1999, 9:3:225-244; EDWIN DUBOSE, RONALD HAMEL, and LAWRENCE O'CONNELL (eds.), A Matter of Principles? Ferment in U.S. Bioethics, Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1994; RAANAN GILLON (ed.), Principles of Health Care Ethics, New York: Wiley, 1994; ALBERT JONSEN, "Preface", in DuBose et al 1994; DANIEL CALLAHAN, "Bioethics: Private choice and common good", Hastings Center Report 1994, 28-31; GILBERT C. MEILAENDER, Body, Soul, and Bioethics, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995. [Back]
6 See, e.g., H.E. Mons. ELIO SGRECCIA, "Introduction to the work of the task-force", in Juan de Dios Vial Correa and Elio Sgreccia (eds.), Pontificia Academia Pro Vita: The Identity and Status of the Human Embryo", Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1999, pp. 25-27. [Back]
7 E.g., see ETIENNE GILSON, Being And Some Philosophers, Toronto: The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1963; for a general history of philosophy, see, Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, New York: Image Books, Vols. 1-9. [Back]
8 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, The Division and Method of the Sciences (Fathers of the English Dominican Province, 1981), q.6, art. 1, ans. 1, pp. 65-66; ibid., q.6, ans.3, pp. 71-72; ibid., q. 6, art. 2, pp. 176-178; ibid., q. 6, art. 4, p. 90; ibid., q. 5, art. 3, p. 35, and note 21 In I Post. Anal. lect. 1-3, and in De Veritate I.1; ARISTOTLE, Categories, in Sir David Ross, New York: Random House, 1985, 20-21; ibid., Analytica Posteriora 2.19, 100a 3-9, (McKeon, 1941); see also GEORGE KLUBERTANZ, Introduction to the Philosophy of Being, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1963, pp. 293-298. [Back]
9 E.g., see PAUL VI, enc. Human vitae (July 25, 1968), 1.10, ftnt. 9; CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction of Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum vitae (February 22, 1987), 3; JOHN PAUL II, enc. Veritatis Splendor (August 6, 1993), Intro. 4; 1.48 49, 50; 3.67; JOHN PAUL II, enc. Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 3.10; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PASTORAL ASSISTANCE, Charter For Health Care Workers (1994), 1.18, 2.35, 38, 39, 40, 41. [Back]
10The major philosophical issue here is whether or not there is a "mind/body" split (as found, e.g., in Platonic, neoplatonic, many scholastic -- and even some empiricist and existentialist philosophies). A "mind/body split" is both theoretically and practically indefensible, but it seems to have been recycled lately, especially within secular bioethics. A "mind/body split" is, by the way, a theoretical requirement for any argument for "delayed personhood". For realist philosophers, e.g., St. Thomas, Aristotle, etc., there is no mind/body split. A human being comes into existence spontaneously and simultaneously, and dies spontaneously and simultaneously. For a more in depth treatment of this issue, see D.N. IRVING, "Scientific and philosophical expertise: An evaluation of the arguments on 'personhood'", Linacre Quarterly 1993, 60:18-47, also in KISCHER and IRVING (eds.), The Human Development Hoax: Time To Tell The Truth! (1997), pp.129-184.
For St. Thomas, as well as for Aristotle, the "rational soul" is a form, and therefore cannot be divided or separated. Thus the rational soul always includes virtually the sensitive and vegetative powers -- no splits. Thus there can be no pure "rational" power alone, waiting to belatedly join its proper vegetative and sensitive powers -- i.e., no "delayed personhood". And it must exist together with the body (matter). So the whole soul exists simultaneously as one single whole composite with the body -- no splits. For references that the "rational soul" must include virtually the sensitive and vegetative powers: ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia, q.45, art.4, ans.2, p. 235; ARISTOTLE, De Anima, 1.5.411b, 14-18 and 24-28, p. 554. That the soul (form) must exist with the body (matter) as one composite substance: ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica (Fathers of the English Dominican Province, 1981) (Vol. 1) Ia q.29, art.1, ans., ad.2,3,5, p. 156; ibid., art2, ans. p. 157; ibid., q.45, art.4, ans.2, p. 235; ibid., q.75, art.4, ans., p. 366; see also KEVIN DORAN, "Person -- a key concept for ethics", Linacre Quarterly (1989), 56:4:39; for ARISTOTLE: Physica 2.1.193ab, 3-5, p. 238, in McKeon (1941); ibid., 2.2.194b, 12-14, p. 240; ibid., 2.2.193b, 33-37, p. 239; Categories 5.2a,11-13, p. 9; Metaphysica 7.11.1036b, 3-7, p. 800; ibid. 8.1.1042a, 30-31, p. 812; De Anima 1.5.411b, 14-18 and 24-28, p. 554; ibid., 2.1.412b, 6-10, p. 555; ibid. 2.1413a, 3-4, p. 556, in McKeon (1941); also in Ross (1985), p. 24. That "undesignated matter" in included in St. Thomas' formal definition of a "human being" (which should hold serious significance in medical and bioethics considerations): ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia q.29, art.1, ans. ad.2,3,5, p. 156; ibid., art.2, ans., p. 157; ibid., IIIa q.19, art.1, ans. 4, p. 2127; see also KEVIN DORAN, "Person - a key concept for ethics", Linacre Quarterly 1989, 56:4:39.
Oddly, St. Thomas, blushingly following Aristotle in his own self-contradictory claims, argued for "delayed personhood" (thus contradicting himself!). However, scholars have resolved this contradiction for centuries, explaining that: systematically, they both would have been required to argue for "immediate personhood" (as evidenced above); they still considered that there were only four basic material elements (air, earth, fire and water); and, had they access to contemporary biology they would have had to argue for "immediate personhood". For a more in-depth investigation of St. Thomas, see: STEPHEN HEANEY, "Aquinas and the presence of the human rational soul in the early human embryo", The Tomist Jan. 1992, 56:1:19-48; MARK JOHNSON, "Quaestio Disputata: Delayed hominization; Reflections on some recent Catholic claims for delayed hominization", Theological Studies 1995, 56:743-763; BENEDICT ASHLEY, "Delayed hominization: Catholic theological perspectives", in R.E. Smith (ed.), The Interaction of Catholic Bioethics and Secular Society, Braintree, MA: The Pope John Center, 1992, esp. pp. 165, 176; A. REGAN, "The human conceptus and personhood", Studia Moralis 1992, 30:97-127; Jean de Siebenthal, "L'animation selon Thomas d'Aquin: Peut-on affirmer qui l'embryon est d'abord autre chose qu'un homme en s'appuyant sur Thomas d'Aquin?", in L'Embryon: Un Homme. Actes du Congres de Lausanne 1986, Lausanne: Societe suisse de bioethique, 1986, 91-98. For discussions on Aristotle's self-contradictions, see: my dissertation (note 1, supra), Appendix B, "Aristotle: A question of substance", pp. 296-381. For some contemporary philosophers' studies, see: MARY LOUISE GILL, Aristotle on Substance, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989; also, CHARLOTTE WITT, Substance and Essence in Aristotle, New York: Cornell University Press, 1989; MARJORIE GRENE, A Portrait of Aristotle, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963. [Back]
11 SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia q.29, art.1, ans. ad.2,3,5, p. 156; ibid., art.2, ans., p. 157; ibid., IIIa q.19, art.1, ans. 4, p. 2127; see also KEVIN DORAN, "Person - a key concept for ethics", Linacre Quarterly 1989, 56:4:39. [Back]
12 Specifically, in human embryology, see: D. IRVING, doctoral dissertation, and book (note 1, supra); ibid., "Human embryonic stem cell research: Are official positions based on scientific fraud?", Communique (American Life League) July 27, 1999; ibid., "Testimony against the use of human biological materials in experimental research", in National Bioethics Advisory Commission Report, The Use of Human Biological Materials in Research: Ethical Issues and Policy Guidance, Appendix, Government Printing Office, 1999; ibid., "The immediate product of human cloning is a human being: Claims to the contrary are scientifically wrong", Scientific Panel on "Cloning: Legal, Medical, Ethical, and Social Issues", Hearing before the Subcommittee on Health and Environment of the Committee on Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C., February 12, 1998; ibid., "Academic Fraud and Conceptual Transfer in Bioethics: Abortion, Human Embryo Research and Psychiatric Research", in Joseph W. Koterski (ed.), Life And Learning IV , Washington, D.C.: University Faculty for Life, 1995, pp. 193-215; ibid., "Individual testimony before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel", Linacre Quarterly Nov. 1994, 61:4::82-89; ibid., "Embryo research: A call for closer scrutiny", Linacre Quarterly, July 17, 1994; ibid., "'New age' embryology text books: 'Pre-embryo', 'pregnancy' and abortion counseling: Implications for fetal research", Linacre Quarterly May 1994, 61:2:42-62; ibid., "The impact of scientific 'misinformation' on other fields: Philosophy, theology, biomedical ethics and public policy", Accountability in Research April 1993, 2:4:243-272; C. WARD KISCHER, "In defense of human development", Linacre Quarterly 1992, 59:68-75; ibid., "Human development and reconsideration of ensoulment", Linacre Quarterly 1993, 60:57-63; ibid., "A new wave dialectic: The reinvention of human embryology", Linacre Quarterly 1994, 61:66-81; ibid., "The big lie in human embryology: The case of the preembryo", Linacre Quarterly 1997, 64:53-61. [Back]
13 See CONGREGATION OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Instruction of Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation Donum vitae, (February 22, 1987), Intro. 5, 1.1; JOHN PAUL II, enc. Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 3.59, 60; PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR PASTORAL ASSISTANCE, Charter For Health Care Workers (1994), 2.35, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46. [Back]
15 See, e.g., JOSEPH CARDINAL RATZINGER, Conscience and Truth, Braintree, MA: Pope John XXIII Medical-Moral Research and Education Center, 1991, esp. pp. 4, 7-8, 11, 17-18; JOHN PAUL II, enc. Veritatis Splendor (August 6, 1993), 1.46, 47, 48; 2.54-64; 3.68; JOHN PAUL II, enc. Evangelium vitae (March 25, 1995), 1.19-24; 3.58-60. [Back]
16 SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia IIae, q.58-62, pp. 833-853, in Fathers of the English Dominican Province 1981; ROMANUS CESSARIO, The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991; FAGOTHEY (1963), pp. 200-205; BOURKE (1953), pp. 256-289. [Back]
17 SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia IIae, q. 57, pp. 827-833. For understanding the reciprocal influence between the possession of virtuous habits and acting, see: ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, ST, Ia IIae, q. 58, 59, pp. 833-841; ARISTOTLE, Ethica Nicomachea, esp. 6.12.1144a, 34-37, p 1035. [Back]
19 22I analyzed 28 of the most representative and influential current arguments for "delayed personhood" (and therefore "pro" human embryo research, abortion, etc.) by secular bioethicists which they use to justify human embryo research in my doctoral dissertation (see note 1, supra). Although there are many excellent works arguing against "delayed personhood", space considerations here allow only for referencing mostly the arguments "pro". For more in-depth referencing of arguments against "delayed personhood", see note 1, supra; see also Juan de Dios Vial Correa and Elio Sgreccia (eds.), Pontificia Academia Pro Vita: The Identity and Status of the Human Embryo", Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1999. The arguments for "delayed personhood" addressed in my dissertation included: RICHARD MCCORMICK, "Who or what is the 'preembryo'?", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1991, 1:1:3-15; CLIFFORD GROBSTEIN, "The early development of human embryos", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1985, 10:213-236; H. TRISTRAM ENGLEHARDT, The Foundations of Bioethics, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, 111; WILLIAM A. WALLACE, "Nature and human nature as the norm in medical ethics", in Edmund D. Pellegrino, John P. Langan and John Collins Harvey (eds.), Catholic Perspectives on Medical Morals, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishing, 1989, pp. 23-53; NORMAN FORD, When Did I Begin?, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 298; JOHN A. ROBERTSON, "Extracorporeal embryos and the abortion debate", Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy 1986, 2;53;53-70; ANTOINE SUAREZ, "Hydatidiform moles and teratomas confirm the human identity of the preimplantation embryo", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1990), 15:627-635; CARLOS BEDATE AND ROBERT CEFALO, "The zygote: to be or not be a person", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1989, 14:6:641; THOMAS J. BOLE, III, "Metaphysical accounts of the zygote as a person and the veto power of facts", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1989, 14:647-653; ibid., "Zygotes, souls, substances, and persons", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1990, 15:637-652; HANS-MARTIN SASS, "Brain life and brain death: A proposal for normative agreement", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1989, 14, (same article also in Bioethics News 1990, 9:3:9-20); PETER SINGER AND D. WELLS, in D. GARETH JONES, "Brain birth and personal identity", Journal of Medical Ethics 1989, 15:175; MICHAEL LOCKWOOD, "When does life begin?", in Michael Lockwood (ed.), Moral dilemmas in Modern Medicine, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 10; ibid., "Warnock versus Powell (and Harradine): When does potentiality count?", Bioethics 1988, 2:3:187-213; MICHAEL C. SHEA, "Embryonic life and human life", Journal of Medical Ethics 1985, 11:205-209; R.M. HARE, "When does potentiality count? A comment on Lockwood", Bioethics 1988, 2:3:214; KAREN DAWSON, "Segmentation and moral status", in Peter Singer, Helga Kuhse, Stephen Buckle, Karen Dawson, Pascal Kasimba, Embryo Experimentation, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 58; STEPHEN BUCKLE, KAREN DAWSON AND PETER SINGER, "The syngamy debate: When precisely does an embryo begin?", in Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation, New York: Cambridge University Press 1990, pp. 213-226; STEPHEN BUCKLE, "Biological processes and moral events", Journal of Medical Ethics 1988, 14:3:144-147; . For additional arguments for "delayed personhood" not addressed in my dissertation, see, e.g.: CLIFFORD GROBSTEIN, "The status and uses of early human developmental stages", in Darwin Cheney (ed.), Ethical Issues in Research, Frederick, MD: The University Publishing Group, Inc.; ibid., "The early development of human embryos", Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 1985, 10:213-236; ibid., Science and the Unborn, New York: Basic Books, 1988, p. 61; ibid., "When does life begin?", Psychology Today 1989, pp. 43-46; ibid., "External human fertilization", Scientific American 1979, 240:57-67; ANNE MCLAREN, "Why study early human development?", New Scientist 1986, 24:49; ibid., "Where to draw the line?", Proceedings of the Royal Institute of Great Britain 1984, 56:101-120; PAUL RAMSEY, "Reference points in deciding about abortion", in J.T. Noonan (ed.), The Morality of Abortion, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970, pp. 60-100; CHARLES E. CURRAN, "Abortion: Contemporary debate in philosophical and religious ethics", in W.T. Reich (ed.), Encyclopedia of Bioethics 1, London: The Free Press, 1978, pp. 17-26; CAROL TAUER, The Moral Status of the Prenatal Human 1981, Dissertation in Philosophy, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University (Sister Tauer later went on to become the ethics co-chair of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel 1994); ibid., "The tradition of probabilism and the moral status of the early embryo", in Patricia B. Jung and Thomas A. Shannon, Abortion and Catholicism 1988, New York: Crossroad, pp. 54-84; LISA S. CAHILL, "Abortion, autonomy, and community", in Jung and Shannon, Abortion and Catholicism 1988, pp. 85-98; JOSEPH F. DONCEEL, "A liberal Catholic's view", in Jung and Shannon, Abortion and Catholicism 1988, pp. 48-53; JAMES F. CHILDRESS, "Human fetal tissue transplantation", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1991, 1:2:93-122; RICHARD MCCORMICK, "The preembryo as potential: A Reply to John A. Robertson", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 1991, 1:4:303-306; ibid., "Health and Medicine in the Catholic Tradition, New York: Crossroad, 1984 (the "Catholic tradition" is defined here mostly in terms of "proportionalism"; contains references to other Catholic theologians arguing for "delayed personhood"); ANDRE E. HELLEGERS, "Fetal development", Theological Studies 1970, 31:3-9; KEVIN WILDES, "Book Review: Human life: Its beginning and development", L'Harmattan, Paris: International Federation of Catholic Universities 1988; JOHN A. ROBERTSON, "What we may do with preembryos: A response to Richard A. McCormick", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1991, 1:4:293-302; ibid., "The case of the switched embryos", The Hastings Center Report 1995, 25:6:13-24; ibid., "Symbolic issues in embryo research", The Hastings Center Report 1995, Jan./Feb. 37-38; RUTH MACKLIN, "Personhood in the bioethics literature", Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Health and Society 1983, 61:1:37; R.M. HARE, "Embryo experimentation: Public policy in a pluralistic society", in Proceedings of the IVF Conference, Australia: Center for Human Bioethics, Monash University, 1987, pp. 106-123; ROBERT C. CEFALO, "Book Review: Embryo Experimentation, Peter Singer et al (eds.); 'Eggs, embryos and ethics'", Hastings Center Reports 1991, 21:5:41; MARIO MOUSSA and THOMAS A. SHANNON, "The search for the new pineal gland: Brain life and personhood", The Hastings Center Report 1992, 22:3:30-37; MICHAEL SHEA, "Embryonic life and human life", Journal of Medical Ethics 1985, 11:205-209; JOHN M. GOLDENRING, "The brain-life theory: Towards a consistent biological definition of humanness" Journal of Medical Ethics 1985, 11:198-204; TOMASINE KUSHNER, "Having a life versus being alive", Journal of Medical Ethics 1984, 10:5-8; MICHAEL V.L. BENNETT, "Personhood from a neuroscientific perspective", in Edd Doerr and James Prescott (eds.), Abortion Rights and Fetal "Personhood", Long Beach: Crestline Press, 1989, pp. 83-85. See also these additional arguments for "delayed personhood": KAREN DAWSON, "Introduction: An outline of scientific aspects of embryo research", in Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, p. 3; ibid., "A scientific examination of some speculations about continuing human pre-embryo research", in Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, p. 26; ibid., "Fertilization and moral status: A scientific perspective", Journal of Medical Ethics 1987, 13:173-177; PETER SINGER, "Technology and procreation: How far should we go?", Technology Review, 1985; PETER SINGER and KAREN DAWSON, "IVF technology and the argument from potential", Philosophy and Public Affairs 1988, 17:87-104; PETER SINGER AND HELGA KUHSE, "The ethics of embryo research", Law, Medicine and Health Care 1986, 14:3-4:133-138; HELGA KUHSE and PETER SINGER, "Individuals, humans and persons: The issue of moral status", in Peter Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990; MICHAEL TOOLEY, "Abortion and infanticide", in Marshall Cohen et al (eds.), The Rights and Wrongs of Abortions, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1974, pp. 59, 64; Helga Kuhse, "Thinking about destructive embryo experimentation", in Proceedings of the IVF Conference, Australia: Center for Human Bioethics, Monash University, 1987, pp. 96-105; Dame Mary. Warnock, "Do human cells have rights?", Bioethics 1987, 1:10-12; MICHAEL LOCKWOOD, "Human identity and the primitive streak", The Hastings Center Report 1995, Jan./Feb., p. 45; ALAN TROUNSON, "Why do research on human pre-embryos?", in Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, pp. 14-25; STEPHEN BUCKLE, "Arguing from potential", in Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, pp. 90-108. [Back]
21 See, e.g., C. WARD KISCHER, "The big lie in human embryology: The case of the preembryo", "The media and human embryology", and "Quid sit veritas? The odyssey of one human embryologist as a modern Diogenes", in Kischer and Irving (eds.), The Human Development Hoax: Time To Tell The Truth!", distributed by American Life League 1997, pp. 71-81, 89-98, and 99-124. [Back]
22 Bioethics pervades most academic fields by now, including the law, where legal arguments, based essentially on "delayed personhood" premises, have been constructed and successfully set legal precedents. See, e.g., the "pre-embryo" arguments by JOHN A. ROBERTSON (found in note 22, supra), which have been used in a number of frozen embryo legal cases. See also: JOHN A. ROBERTSON, "What we may do with preembryos: A response to Richard A. McCormick", Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 1991, 1:4:293-302; ibid., "The case of the switched embryos", The Hastings Center Report 1995, 25:6:13-24; ibid., "Symbolic issues in embryo research", The Hastings Center Report 1995, Jan./Feb. 37-38. Robertson represented the father in the Tennessee frozen embryo case, and referred to these human embryos as "pre-embryos", quoting extensively from Clifford Grobstein's "human embryology". The lower court found with internationally reknown Dr. Jerome Lejeune's scientific testimony, and concluded that there was no such thing as a "pre-embryo" [see lower court testimony of Lejeune in Davis v. Davis, Tennessee court of Appeals at Knoxville, No. 190, slip op. at 5-6 (Sept 13, 1990)]. However, on appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, the judge held that Lejeune's testimony "revealed a profound confusion between science and religion" [Sec. 34, ftnt. 12], accepted the "pre-embryo" arguments of Robertson, and reversed the lower court ruling [842 S.W.2d 588 (Tenn. 1992)]. Interestingly, the judge also stated: "Left undisturbed, the trial court's ruling would have afforded preembryos the legal status of 'persons' and vested them with legally cognizable interests separate from those of their progenitors. Such a decision would doubtless have had the effect of outlawing IVF programs in the state of Tennessee" (emphasis mine).
For other court cases in which the "pre-embryo" argument has succeeded, see, e.g., Kass v. Kass, 673 N.Y.S.2d 350, 91 N.Y..2d 554 (1998), in which the embryos were actually referred to as "pre-zygotes"; A.Z. v. B.Z., a Massachusetts frozen embryo case on appeal now to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts; J.B. v. M.B. on appeal now to the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division (Docket No. A-1544--98 T3). Of course, Roe v. Wade [410 U.S. 113 (1973)] referred several times to the fetus as a "potential human being" and as a "potential human person" -- another form of a "delayed personhood" argument. In Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), Justice O'Conner argued that viability was "far removed, both qualitatively and quantitatively, from that of the four- to eight-cell preembryos in this case." [ ftnt. 17]. See also similar reasoning for "delayed personhood" in the work of: PASCAL KASIMBA, "Regulating IVF human embryo experimentation: The search for a legal basis", Australian Law Journal 1988, 62:128-138; B. GAZE and KAREN DAWSON, "Who is the subject of IVF research"?, Bioethics 1989, vol. 3; MAX CHARLESWORTH, "Community control of IVF and embryo experimentation", in Peter Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp. 147-152; BETH GAZE and PASCAL KASIMBA, "Embryo experimentation: The path and problems of legislation in Victoria", in Peter Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, pp. 202-212; R.M. HARE, "Public policy in a pluralist society", in Peter Singer et al, Embryo Experimentation 1990, pp. 183-194. For arguments counter these legal precedents, see, e.g., my two amicus curiae briefs on "fetal personhood" submitted to the U. S. Supreme Court, note 4, supra. [Back]
23 These are claims stated by many proponents of "emergency contraception", e.g., by Janet Benshoof, President, The Center for Reproductive Law and Public Policy (New York), when I debated her on T.V. (Cable Network New York, "News Talk Television", July 2, 1996; also, CBS News, "Up to the Minute", July 1, 1996). Several groups and organizations are defining "pregnancy" as beginning at implantation (6-7 days after fertilization), and hence now even defining "conception" at implantation as well, e.g., The American Fertility Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Even the federal regulations for the use of human subjects in research define "pregnancy" as beginning at implantation (1991 OPRR Reports, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations: Protection of Human Subjects 45 CFR 46, pp. 11-12. These federal regulations also erroneously define "fetus" as beginning at implantation; however, the fetal stage does not even begin until the end of the 8th week post fertilization. [Back]
24 According to the web site for "Preven", "They [the "emergency contraception" pills] may also act by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova (thereby inhibiting fertilization), and/or possibly altering the endometrium (thereby inhibiting implantation)[http://www.preven.com/product/02-06.html]. Again, " … they may produce changes in the lining of the uterus that could prevent implantation of a fertilized egg" [http://www.preven.com/product/02-01.html]. Searle pharmaceutical company communicated to me via their "senior scientist" that they, like all the American pharmaceutical companies, claim that the "morning-after pill" could not possibly be abortifacient since there is only a "pre-embryo" there -- and that they base this "science" on the book by Australian theologian, Fr. Norman Ford, When Did I Begin?, (which I addressed in my dissertation, note 1, supra; also see note 22, supra) (Personal communication, April 30, 1996, and August 30, 1996). Ford explicitly bases his own argument on the "human embryology" of McCormick and Grobstein. [Back]
25 Medical texts are not necessarily as accurate as the basic science texts. It is the basic scientists' confirmed and detailed scientific work which is in turn used in medical texts by physicians, etc., often with watered-down and thus inaccurate definitions and unfounded claims. All basic human embryology textbooks state clearly that the human being or embryo begins at fertilization (or fission, etc., using different processes). However, one exception is the 5th edition of Keith Moore's popular human embryology textbook, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993). In this edition Moore used the scientifically invalid term "pre-embryo" for the first time (and there were other very extensive scientific contradictions and irregularities in this edition as well). When confronted independently and vigorously by both Kischer and by myself with the fact that scientifically there is no such thing as a "pre-embryo", Moore finally agreed, and removed the term from his 6th edition (1998). It is important that the proper edition of his text be used. At this time only the corrected 6th edition of his textbook is accurate enough. For my comparative analysis of Moore's 3rd and 5th editions, see: D. IRVING, "'New Age' human embryology text books: 'Pre-embryo', 'pregnancy', and abortion counseling: Implications for fetal research", Linacre Quarterly 1994, 61:42-62. [Back]