Serra, Angelo
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When Did I Begin?

The ontological status of a human embryo has become a burning issue of contemporary bioethics since 1978, the year of the birth of the first test-tube baby. The target question may be reduced to the following: what are the essential status and value to be assigned to such microscopic things as the zygote and the embryo from the two-cell stage up to some thousands? The answer to this double question -- status and value -- cannot be the task of science alone. However, science can provide solid bases to further philosophical, theological, ethical and legal reflection, which is necessary in order to reach sound conclusions about the value and, consequently, the dignity and rights of the embryo.

Date posted: 2001-12-31