When a human is made

The Westchester Institute for Ethics & the Human Person, NY, USA, has produced a white paper in 2008 that makes the scientific case. “Advances in the study of human embryology have sharpened our focus to an increasingly narrow developmental time-frame immediately following the fusion of sperm and egg—and prior to the first cell division (an approximately 24 hour period also referred to as the first cell cycle). The point at which fertilization ends and embryonic development commences is commonly placed at “syngamy,” the time when the membranes surrounding the nuclei derived from the sperm and the egg break down in preparation for the first cell division.”
The NHMRC of Australia uses a biologically observable feature (first mitotic division) to anchor their definition for an embryo created for reproductive purposes, thereby clarifying what is and is not a human embryo in ways that can be verified, as opposed to using syngamy which is not as easily observable.
In othewords sygamy produces the full set of chromosomes required for a human being to develop. Prior to this it could be said that the conception is still separate parts of the female ova and male sperm and not a new human.
Most women would not know they are carrying a new human at that stage and it is thought many embryos do become unviable and miscarry very early in development, unknown to the mother.
However the issue of how we view the new life goes as much to how we view the act of sexual intercourse and the ‘other’. The spiritual journey is about increasing our bonds with life. This doen’t mean that physical life is absolutely important but that we strive to make the creation of life a sacred motion, while every dimnution of life is chosen through the most mindful process we can apply.
The horns of dilemma that we are trying to address relates more to the use and cloning of pre-mitotic fertilised cell which will ‘kill’ the cell, for the purposes of finding cures for born humans and yet to be conceived embryos that hold dysfunctional genetic processes. The advancement of humanity may, in part, be determined by how well we perch on these horns.

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