ABOUT THIS BOOK
At a time when technology can sustain marginal life, it is ever more
important to understand what constitutes a person. What are the medical,
ethical, moral, mental, legal, and philosophical criteria that determine
protectable human life?
Following immediately on the publication of his highly praised book Choosing
Who's to Live, James Walters addresses with depth and wisdom another
ambitious and complicated matter: determining the nature of personhood.
By providing a much-needed religious/philosophical context for the discussion--examining
contemporary thinking on just what constitutes valuable life--Walters
broadens his inquiry beyond the human to include other animals and deals
with the phenomenon of anencephalic infants, those who are born without
Searching for a measurable and humane standard of personhood, Walters
looks at the current definition of it and declares it inadequate--offering
instead the idea of proximate personhood, with criteria for helping to
determine which individuals possess a unique claim to life.