Abortion and Charter for the Embryo Between the Ancient World and the Third Millenium

Marco Cilione


In 2012 the Italian Court of Cassation recognized a young woman the right not to be born and a compensation for her Downs syndrome. Before her birth, her parents asked their gynaecologist for abortion in case he had found any patology affecting the baby. The clinical tests didnt reveal the syndrome, so, after the babys birth, the doctor was sued for damages. A similar case had occurred in France, where the High Court affirmed that constitution is based on the right to live, not to die. A debate was opened, in which the hippocratic oath has been used to support the pro vita position. This article focuses on whether, when and why the hippocratic tradition allows abortion; when and by whom the embryo was considered to be a human being; if, according to the few sources we have, a charter for the embryo existed in ancient times.

Key words: Abortion Embryo Right - Hippocratic oath

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