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Revista Estudos Feministas

Print version ISSN 0104-026X

Abstract

LUNA, Naara. Anencephalic fetuses and research embryos: subjects of rights?. Rev. Estud. Fem. [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.2, pp. 307-333. ISSN 0104-026X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-026X2009000200002.

The present article analyzes the emergence of social subjects in the form of beings which had previously been embedded in mother's bodies and which have later become defined and circumscribed by biomedicine: extracorporal embryos, created by in vitro fertilization, and anencephalic fetuses. The embryos were at the center of the controversy regarding their use in scientific research during the debates for the approval of Brazil's new biosecurity law. Anencephalic fetuses became the center of a debate regarding the relaxing of Brazil's abortion laws. This article analyzes mass media news stories provided mostly by a systematic review of articles published in O Globo newspaper between 2000 and 2005 in order to recover the arguments presented in these debates. The arguments to justify or ban embryo research or to anticipate the birth of anencephalic fetuses coincide, in large part, because they are derived from the same value configuration and are founded upon the person: Dumont's individual-as-value.

Keywords : Human Embryo; Anencephalous; Abortion; Life; Personhood.

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