Single Idea 4668

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / C. Rights / 2. Moral rights]

Full Idea

It seems that the bearers of rights must at least have the capacity to desire what they have a right to, which is something the foetus does not have.

Gist of Idea

You can't have a right to something you can't desire, so a foetus has no 'right' to life


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 9.4)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.127

A Reaction

Obviously we could say a person has a right to something they don't desire (such as freedom). How about: a mental defective has the right not to be laughed at, even if they don't understand the mockery?

Related Idea

Idea 20285 If a right entails having the relevant desire, many creatures might have no right to life [Singer]