Assignment 9



Read pages 156 to 174 and answer the following questions:

1. On the first two pages, what problems does Singer raise with the idea of an individual's life beginning at conception?

2. In your own opinion, which of the following have meaningfully different moral statuses and why?
(a) a sperm and egg in separate petri dishes
(b) a sperm and egg just before contact
(c) a sperm and egg just after contact
(d) an embryo in a petri dish
(e) an embryo in a uterus before implantation
(f) an embryo after implantation

3. Should the probability of any of the above reaching the stage of a newborn child have any bearing on their moral standing?
Why or why not?

4. Why does Singer draw the line at eighteen weeks for the legitimacy of using tissue from a fetus?

5. Do you agree with Singer's acceptance of the use of fetal tissue for research and medicinal purposes?  Would you go as far
as his acceptance of a woman conceiving and aborting a fetus to provide cells for a sick relative?

6. What makes it so difficult to accept killing a newborn as morally equivalent to a third-trimester abortion?  What are the 
arguments Singer makes for treating them equivalently?  What are his arguments for treating them differently?

7. What is your own view of the moral legitimacy of infanticide and what are your reasons?