When Does Life Begin?

There are many different possibilities to when life begins. It is, of course, up to you to make your own decision about when you believe life begins. There is not correct answer to when life begins.

The possibilities are listed below but there are other arguments to when life beings. Some are listed below:

Life beings…

* At conception

People believe life beings at conception when a sperm fertilises an egg. Some people believe that scientifically we know most cells are living things therefore a sperm and a ovule are living. Some people believe that because two living things have made more living things by ‘fusing’ and dividing then the ‘cluster of cell’ must also be living. Other people make their opinion on what they believe common sense tells them, which is that life begins at conception.

* After 14 days of conception

Between conception and fourteen days after conception the ‘cluster of cells’ is called a pre-embryo. After 14 days of conception the embryo attaches itself to the womb and begins to grow (see picture below).

The reason some people believe this is because they also believe that a pre-embryo is just a cluster of cells and that this is not a life. Within the fourteen days after conception the cells divide and can even spilt and become twins or triplets or quadruplets (etc).

They can therefore justify the reason why they believe this and also can fell confident that this, for them, is the answer to when life begins.

* After 12 weeks (abortion-doctors)

After twelve weeks most doctors will not usually perform an abortion therefore some people conclude that while a foetus/embryo can be aborted then it is not alive as such.

* When it is recognisable as a human being and can sense things

If a foetus can not sense then it may not be believe to be ‘human’. All human have sense of some kind but not all, e.g. hearing. Also when the foetus begins to have arms, legs, and human features and resembles a child/baby then some people class the foetus as being alive.

* When the child could be born and survive and thrive (about 24 weeks)

Some people believe that when a foetus could be born premature and live unaided then it is living. They believe hat if it could not survive the nit is not alive.

* At birth

Some people believe that a child/baby is only alive when it is born. This is because they might believe that it can not survive alone without the mother before this point and once it have survived alone then it is alive.

My Personal Opinion

This is probably one of the most challenging things that I have had to decide in a while. There are so many possibilities; all with good and understandable reasons.

My initial thought was that life begins at conception because two living things make more living things (cells). However after considering this option and looking at other I thought that all the possible answers had good points to them.

I then became unclear on what to decide. My heart actually believed that life began at conception, then I realised that, of course, after conception it is possible that the cells could separate and eventually become two lives.

I was surprised how much being undeceive bothered me. So I talked with my friends and even my parents and came to the conclusion that because all the options and opinions of others were acceptable to me that I would need to consider a solution a lot more.

Having studied the video on ‘brave new births’ and hearing other people opinions, for example Robert Winston believes that life beings at the fourteen day mark, then I am quite happy with the answer that I have concluded.

Eventually I decided that when the umbilical cord was cut then life began. I am content with this answer. This is because a foetus to me now seems like an extension of the mother. It is entirely dependent on the mother for food and breath. As the foetus can not do this I have determined that my answer to this question personally feels right. I decided that once the child had taken its own breath then it was alive.

Despite all this I believe that certain situation make you change your opinions and believe different things. Therefore I can not say that this I was I always believe but that, at the moment, this I the answer which I am most satisfied with.

The importance of my answer

The answer to this question is important because all other questions and answers about life and death revolve around it.

I realised that what I believe to be correct was very important. If you believe that life begins at conception you then believe that abortion is murder. Also you must believe that taking the morning after pill is murder. This is not to say that you would not do this and that you would not be able to live with yourself because of doing this.

Therefore my conclusion that life begins at birth, eliminates the problem of believing that abortion is murder and is also wrong and unacceptable. However, my opinion may change, for example if I ever need an abortion in the future.