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Can Someone Murder an Unborn Child?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
If someone murders a pregnant woman, thus killing both mother and unborn child, should that person face double-murder charges?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dunno really - take the Sharon Tate murder for example...she was pergnant but I don't know if Charles manson and Co were done for the murder of both. I guess the press would make a huge deal of it and in the eyes of the law it may come down to the whole 'when can an embryo survive' .

    when a mother miscarries they often don't give the 'child' a burial as its not considered a viable life form, though mothers are given the choice if they want to buty them!

    Technically though I don't think they bother prosecting for a double murder.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i could murder a kebab.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by morrocan roll
    i could murder a kebab.

    You are a very bad man.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No because that would screw with the whole abortion debate.

    If a baby is classed as a life in one instance, it cannot be classed as otherwise in another.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Can Someone Murder an Unborn Child?
    Originally posted by Lanni
    If someone murders a pregnant woman, thus killing both mother and unborn child, should that person face double-murder charges?

    It depends on how one defines life. Is a foetus alive?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: Can Someone Murder an Unborn Child?
    Originally posted by monocrat
    It depends on how one defines life. Is a foetus alive?

    Yes, but so is your average bacteria. Defining murder as the pre-meditated exinguishing of life means that the average doctor is guilty of millions upon millions of counts of murder every time he prescribes antibiotics to a patient. What matters is not whether we classify the foetus as alive, but whether we think of it as fully human from the moment of conception. This will obviously depend on our definition of human. Is a human defined as an animal with a certain DNA sequence, or do we need to bring sapience into the definition?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Urgh i hate that bacteria or all living things argument...The definition of murder is not the killing of any living thing, its the illegal killing of a HUMAN BEING. It has nothing to do with bacteria or anything else.

    The question of whether a foetus is alive is to determine if its yet classed as human.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Re: Re: Re: Can Someone Murder an Unborn Child?
    Originally posted by Darth Fred
    Yes, but so is your average bacteria. Defining murder as the pre-meditated exinguishing of life means that the average doctor is guilty of millions upon millions of counts of murder every time he prescribes antibiotics to a patient. What matters is not whether we classify the foetus as alive, but whether we think of it as fully human from the moment of conception. This will obviously depend on our definition of human. Is a human defined as an animal with a certain DNA sequence, or do we need to bring sapience into the definition?

    Is it really?

    Is there any absolute definition of life?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, it's relative. Hence the argument between pro-lifers and pro-choicers when it comes to abortion, and defining how late you can have an abortion before the foetus becomes a person proper.

    I'm not sure what the legal position is, but I don't believe anyone would get an additional count of murder for unborn children.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Aladdin
    I'm not sure what the legal position is, but I don't believe anyone would get an additional count of murder for unborn children.

    As I understand things, the legal position is that a person isn't alive until after birth - which would be the point at which the person would need to be "registered". Registration of borth is the moment that the Govt recgnises a person's "existence"...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Balddog
    Urgh i hate that bacteria or all living things argument...The definition of murder is not the killing of any living thing, its the illegal killing of a HUMAN BEING. It has nothing to do with bacteria or anything else.

    The question of whether a foetus is alive is to determine if its yet classed as human.

    That was exactly my point

    Murder is generally defined as the deliberate, pre-meditated killing of a human being. This obviously requires a good definition of human being. So when does a child become a human being, in your opinion? Is it immediately post conception, at birth, when the child achieves self-awareness, or something else altogether? If a foetus is alive, do you automatically class it as human? That's the real question here. As I asked earlier, do you define someone as human based purely on their DNA sequence?
    Originally posted by monocrat
    Is it really?

    Is there any absolute definition of life?

    That's going to depend on whether you just mean life, or whether you want consciousness thrown in as well. Life could be defined as a self propagating chemical reaction built around a few basic nucleotides. Under this definition, a foetus is indeed alive. But that's not the point. If I kill another life form (a cow, for instance), it is not murder. Murder only applies to the killing of humans, and therefore the question of whether a foetus is alive is substantially less relevant than the question of whether and when it is classified as human. As I asked in my previous post, is there a good defintion of human? If so, please point it out to me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No. The law sees the foetus as not independent of its mother yet so killing it is like killing the mother. If you prosecuted for double murder then it would set a precedent for people who've had abortions to be prosecuted for murder. Not good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Simbelyne
    No. The law sees the foetus as not independent of its mother yet so killing it is like killing the mother. If you prosecuted for double murder then it would set a precedent for people who've had abortions to be prosecuted for murder. Not good.

    I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not sure about this, but can a precedent such as this be retroactively enforced? Wouldn't it only make it illegal for people to have abortions in future, rather than criminalising all those who have previously had abortions?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Darth Fred
    Wouldn't it only make it illegal for people to have abortions in future,

    Still unacceptable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Crimes against Unborn Children

    Current Charges

    More statutes

    Precidents

    Consider this scenario. An 8th month pregnant woman is shot by someone intending to kill her and the baby. Because of medical treatment, the adult victim survives but the child dies. Is it murder? I think I would call it such. Seems at least some states in the United States would agree.
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