Monday, December 06, 2004


In his column today Thomas Sowell (link) says:

"A couple of readers in Michigan ask: Since death is defined by the
cessation of brain waves, why shouldn't life be defined by the beginning of
brain waves?"

I first made this argument in a paper I wrote for a political science course in college in the late 1980's, and no one has yet come up with a good argument based on science, law or morality against this standard. I also argued that the old standard for death, the lack of a heartbeat would work also, i.e. life begins when the heart first beats, but no one liked that either. However again no one could come up with a rational argument based on science, law or morality against it. (except the brainwave standard)

This sounds like such an obvious standard, it is puzzling that it has not been adopted by the courts, or pro-choice lobby. Until you realize that a baby's heart begins to beat, and brainwaves begin, in the first trimester.

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