Valuable, viable

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In response to George Byron (Letters, 2 December), firstly, given time, nutrition and a 
proper environment, a human embryo will develop into a mature human being; cancer cells will not.

Secondly, while recognising that the unborn are human, Mr Byron then contradicts himself by saying they are not human due to having no “mental life” and that they only become human “by stages”.

Mr Byron fails to recognise that whatever the stage of human development (embryo, foetus, newborn, toddler, teenager, adult) we are all still human, biologically speaking, and all biological human beings are equally valuable.

It should be noted that the process of stripping the unborn of their personhood because of morally irrelevant biological traits has happened often throughout history.

Every time a group of human beings has been disqualified from being considered people (eg blacks, women, Jews, the mentally handicapped), the reason for the disqualification turned out to be bogus.

Finally, Mr Byron talks of the viability of the unborn. How does it follow that just because the
 unborn cannot survive where born people live they are not 

If you take the unborn child out of the womb, that kills the child, and I don’t think we should put human beings in places where they aren’t viable, or places that would kill them.

My view is simply that all biological human beings are equally valuable and they all have a right to life.

Why can’t we treat all humans as equals regardless of how they function? Why shouldn’t this view be put into law?

Martin Conroy


East Lothian