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WHEN DOES "LIFE" BEGIN?

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Message Ben Marble, M.D.

     For many years there has been a raging debate with respect to when "life" begins.  Of course the lamestream media seems to think there are only two possible answers: conception or birth.  But like so many other things in this world they are wrong because neither of those answers is correct.  If one wants to get to the technicality of it all it is really very simple.  A sperm is ALIVE.  An unfertilized egg is ALIVE.  So "life" merely continues with fertilization being the union and transformation of two human cells into one human cell (which then rapidly begins dividing into many more cells).  Also those who think "life" only begins after birth are just as wrong because birth is just a matter of where a baby is located.  So being inside or outside a uterus in no way changes one's "life" any more than being inside or outside a submarine.  That too is an idiotic concept.  

     So that leads to the next obvious question: What is the real answer then Mr. Smartypants?????  Well the answer came to me one day as I was thinking about the Terry Schiavo case and the "brain death" issue.  Now first, there is an important distinction to be made between something being "alive" and "human life."  For example, a tree is "alive," a protozoa is "alive" but they can never experience "human life."  Because "human life" is a concept that revolves around one organ and that is the human brain.  When one's brain is functioning that person is experiencing "human life" and they are "alive."  When the brain is no longer functioning that person may technically be like the protozoa in that they are "alive" but they are then considered "BRAIN DEAD," i.e. the absence of "HUMAN LIFE!"  Now here comes the key concept so pay attention.  If "human life" ends with brain death then "human life" begins with "brain life."  Now there are fairly strict criteria for determining "brain death" but determining "brain life" is far more challenging primarily due to the inability to examine a fetus in utero.  But it is generally agreed by most experts that the parts of the brain that control pain and motion begin to work somewhere between 14 to 24 weeks post-fertilization.  So I will leave it up to the experts to clarify that timeline but it is obvious to me that there should be nothing wrong with abortion prior to 14 weeks because even though those fetal cells are "alive," they do NOT equate to "human life."  In other words, there is really no difference between allowing a "brain dead" person to die and allowing a "brain dead" fetus to die.

cya

Ben  

 

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