Sensitivity to pain: from animal ethics to human fetal ethics. A challenge for a legal status of the fetus in France

  • Maroun Badr | contact@marounbadr.fr Facoltà di Bioetica, Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, Roma, Italy.

Abstract

The ecological and environmental crisis prompts activists to raise their voices to pay more attention to animal welfare. In order for their voice to be heard, they try to go through the law to legislate their claims; they achieve this by presenting as the main argument the question of sensitivity to pain in animals. A recent study, dating November 2021, concerning the «suffering of crustaceans» recognized by the British government and the introduction of a proposed legislation on animal welfare – a project backed by science – to be extended to these animals are a good witness. In France, the animal has a special status in the Civil Code, since 2015, as a «being endowed with sensitivity», a status which gives it legal protection. At the same time, the laws supporting Voluntary Pregnancy Interruption are evolving at a rapid pace in France, where we come up against the bioethical dilemma concerning respect for human life and the legal status of the fetus. This article aims to answer the following problem: does the human fetus have legal protection similar to that of animals based on the criterion of «sensitivity to pain»? This is a comparative approach based on the legislative texts of French law.

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Published
2022-04-14
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Section
Original Articles
Keywords:
pain, animal ethics, fetal ethics, law, abortion
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  • PDF (Français (France)): 9
How to Cite
Badr, M. (2022). Sensitivity to pain: from animal ethics to human fetal ethics. A challenge for a legal status of the fetus in France. Medicina E Morale, 71(1), 79-94. https://doi.org/10.4081/mem.2022.1201