Should "personhood" or its perceived absence determine the allocation of scarce medical resources? This and other issues make the concept and definition of personhood central to current debates over ethics. In a wide-ranging discussion notable for its clarity, Stanley Rudman traces the development of modern ideas about personhood. Arguing against those who define persons by purely moral and rational criteria, he posits an ethic that instead understands personhood in relation to other people, to the environment, and to God.
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