Right to abortion
First, the “most liberal” legislation allows for “abortion at the request” (in a small group of countries,).
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The second, “fairly free” legislation allows abortion for numerous medical and social.
Third, “fairly strict” legislation allows abortion only in certain circumstances: a threat to a woman’s physical or mental health, incubational defects of the fetus, rape, incest.
The fourth, “very strict”, legislation that either prohibits abortion or permits them in general in exceptional cases when pregnancy poses an immediate danger to a woman’s life.
It seems that drawing the line between abortion and murder would be most correct at the moment from which the fetus is recognized as viable outside the body of the mother. Destruction of a viable fetus (even if it is in the mother’s body) should be recognized as infanticide.
An exception to this rule should be cases where the operation to extract a live fetus cannot be performed due to the state of health of the mother. It should be noted that the proposed border between abortion and infanticide does not at all mean the moment the right to life arises. The boundary between being and non-being of a person, and therefore between the lack of rights and their presence, as mentioned earlier, can be unambiguously determined only at the time of fertilization. It is here that the very necessary causal (causal) relationship is traced, which allows you to clearly identify the cause and condition of the appearance of a person – fertilization and a pregnancy that is proceeding correctly.
For a long time, the most important question about the moment of the emergence of the right to life of the embryo and / or human fetus criminal law doctrine was resolved based on conditional and insufficiently substantiated criteria.
Another illustration of the attitude to the status of the embryo, and therefore to the legal definition of a person, is the legal regulation of biomedical experiments on human embryos.
The basis for such experiments was the technology of artificial insemination, which leads to the creation of a large number of embryos, of which many are unclaimed for the treatment of infertility. In this regard, the “extra” embryos can be used for scientific, diagnostic and other purposes, which can be interpreted as a consumer attitude to a person.
It should be noted that not only “extra” embryos are used, but also human gametes (germ cells), live and dead pre-implantation, post-implantation embryos or living uterine fruits located both outside and inside the uterus, dead embryos and fruits11 . Embryo experiments are very “convenient” for researchers for two reasons. First of all, human embryos are a living human organism. In this regard, the conclusions drawn as a result of experiments on embryos have greater scientific reliability, compared with the results of experiments on animals and dead fruits. Secondly, the continuous implementation of abortion operations,
Artificial insemination provides stable replenishment of the source of biomaterial.
This situation led to the fact that in the late 80’s. of the twentieth century, international organizations began to seriously discuss the question of the only vocation of the embryo – to be born as a child. In particular, Council of Europe Recommendation 1046 (1986) on the use of human embryos and fetuses for diagnostic, therapeutic, scientific, industrial and commercial purposes12 in paragraph 5 of the preamble indicated that, from the moment of fertilization of an egg, human life develops continuously, and there is no way to separate the first phase of its development (embryological) from other phases.
In this regard, the document drew the attention of European countries to the urgent need to define the biological status of the embryo. This implied a narrow tract of the concept of “embryo”. In particular, this requirement did not apply to the uterine fetus, that is, it was already implanted and reached a later stage of its development. In this regard, its ontological status is considered less controversial than the status of the embryo.
12 Recommendation 1046 (1986) on the use of human embryos and foetuses for diagnostic, therapeutic, scientific, industrial and commercial purposes // Texts of the Council of Europe on bioeth-ical matters. Strasbourg, February 1999.
15 Christian BYK, Judge. Medical and Biological Progress and the European Convenation on human rights. Strasbourg: Directorate of Human Rights.
Concerning research on embryos and fruits, there are two main documents adopted by the Council of Europe:
- Recommendation 1046 (1986) 13 on the use of human embryos and fetuses for diagnostic, therapeutic, scientific, industrial and commercial purposes;
- Recommendation 1100 (1989) 14 on the use of human embryos and fetuses in scientific research.
In 1983, the European Committee of Experts on Bioethics (CAHBI) was formed. He focused on issues related to assisted reproduction and embryo experiments.
there is no special legislation to regulate experiments and research on embryos. However, methods of reproductive technology are widely introduced into medical practice. The use of tissues and organs of human fetuses is expanding15.
The only document that is indirectly related to this issue is the Regulation on the procedure for conducting anatomical autopsy, approved by order of the Ministry of Health dated April 29, 1994 No. 82IV states: “Abortions and stillbirths in pregnancy up to 22 weeks and weighing less than 500 g are opened selectively for scientific and practical purposes without issuing evidence of perinatal death.
The legal basis for research on embryos, as well as abortion, has become the provisions of most international legal documents, in particular, the Universal Declaration (1948), the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms etc. These documents acknowledge dignity and, therefore, the right to life for already born people.
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