Second, each embryo is a particular individual that has the potentialto become, in a relatively short time, a particular person. Conceptionis a rather miraculous, complex event (even, and perhaps especially, ifone understands it scientifically) and it seems to me that, at the veryleast, unnecessary, unjustified abortion is in some sense insensitivelywasteful, and unappreciative of the event and of the value of each particularindividual character that is already, by virtue of conception, partly alongthe path to becoming a particular person. Life, because it can be good,is not something to squander needlessly or take for granted. And to endthe already beginning development of a particular individual that can neverbe recreated is not something to take lightly even though that individualmay not yet have attained the consciousness to be aware of its own end.(Even in adults, it is not the self-awareness of one's own dying that isthe worst thing about death; it is not even always a bad thing about deathif it allows one to "come to terms" with one's own death. It is the lossof potential for good, particularly for good that has been, in a sense,earned by the individual's struggle toward development and maturity, and/orfor potential good that seems very likely to occur, given a particularperson's gifts and promise.It is hardly a defense against homicide or a satisfying diminution of itstragedy that one killed an innocent and good person instantly while thatperson was asleep or unconscious or in a way that "he never knew what hithim". Similarly, the fact that a relatively young person dies of naturalcauses painlessly and without warning may lessen the tragedy of such anevent relative to his dying in a more traumatic way, but it does not keepthe death from being a tragic loss).


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