Does it begin at conception? Does it begin when the first cells begin to divide? Does it begin when it implants ? Does it begin when the heart starts to beat?Does it begin when a fetus becomes consious? Does it begin at Birth? Does it begin when the first breath of air is taken?
Everyone has an opinion but no one really knows.
Here are Four Different Perspectives of when human life begins.
Current Scientific Views of When Human Life Begins
Current perspectives on when human life begins range from fertilization to gastrulation to birth and even after. Here is a brief examination of each of the major perspectives with arguments for and against each of the positions. Contemporary scientific literature proposes a variety of answers to the question of when human life begins.
The metabolic view takes the stance that a single developmental moment marking the beginning of human life does not exist. Both the sperm and egg cells should individually be considered to be units of life in the same respect as any other single or multicellular organism. Thus, neither the union of two gametes nor any developmental point thereafter should be designated as the beginning of new life.
The genetic view takes the position that the creation of a genetically unique individual is the moment at which life begins. This event is often described as taking place at fertilization, thus fertilization marks the beginning of human life.
In contrast to the genetic view, the embryological view states that human life originates not at fertilization but rather at gastrulation. Human embryos are capable of splitting into identical twins as late as 12 days after fertilization resulting in the development of separate individuals with unique personalities and different souls, according to the religious view. Therefore, properties governing individuality are not set until after gastrulation.http://biology.franklincollege.edu/B...fe%20begin.pdf
Although most cultures identify the qualities of humanity as different from other living organisms, there is also a universal view that all forms of life on earth are finite. Implicit in the later view is the reality that all life has both a beginning and an end, usually identified as some form of death. The debate surrounding the exact moment marking the beginning of a human life contrasts the certainty and consistency with which the instant of death is described. Contemporary American (and Japanese) society defines death as the loss of the pattern produced by a cerebral electroencephalogram (EEG). If life and death are based upon the same standard of measurement, then the beginning of human life should be recognized as the time when a fetus acquires a recognizable EEG pattern. This acquisition occurs approximately 24- 27 weeks after the conception of the fetus and is the basis for the neurological view of the beginning of human life.
The last one actually makes the most sense to me.
Since we define death as the point at which there is no more brain activity, then shouldn't we also define life as when brain activity begins?
I also find it very interesting that a fetuses brain activity takes place right around the same time a fetus becomes viable.
The limit of viability is 24 weeks and has not changed in the last 12 years.
I think the Surpreme Court was very wise back in 1973 when they set viability as the time states could take a compelling interest in the "potential person" and NOT before.