Final Finality in Livings from Ancient Philosophy and Medicine to Contemporary Biomedicine

Luciana Rita Angeletti

Abstract


In recent years biotechnology has introduced into medicine new possibilities for the manipulation of forms of life, including in vitro fertilization, production of transgenic animals and use of human fetal tissues for therapeutic procedures. This has given rise to a debate on fina finality of the beginning human life, which has involved scientific, philosophical, religious as well as legal issues. A report by an English governmental Commission ( Warnock Committee, 1984) stated a practical term, e.g. 14 days, during which the so-called preembryo may be useful for research or therapeutics. The time has been chosen on embriological bases (i.e. appearence of nerve-type cells in the primitive streak), whereas a law is claimed to avoid discussions about the time of appereance of sensitivity of embryos. On the other side is the opinion of the Court for Blount County of Tennessee expressed in the rule Davis vs. Davis (1989). While the term preembryo is considered a false distincition between stages of differentiation of human embryos, human life is considered beginning at conception and human embryos not as a property. A comparative analysis of medical and philosophical thought before the influence of Christianity shows that, for Hippocrates as well as for Aristotle, final finality of the early embryo leads to consider the human being as a person just when life is blooding. This phase occurs after the milk one or vegetative stage, which is characterized by the property of doubling life when cells are separated, the same stage considered in the rule Davis vs. Davis. 

 

Key words: Final Finality - Embryo - Greek medicine 


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