What Is Personhood?

The Wellness Librarian has been doing some traveling lately and has become disturbed at something: it is “not nice” to kill people before they are born.

Human dignity…protection of innocent human life…Declaration of Independence…14th Amendment…these are the pillars of the movement to raise public awareness of the value, even the sanctity, of human life. Personhood amendments as well as personhood legislation have been introduced in several states and state legislatures.

To whom does the Personhood concept apply? To start with, all of us. Who among us will not one day be infirm, possibly incapacitated or disabled in some way or from some unexpected happening? Or how about the ability just to tell someone, “I’m so glad you were born!” We can do that if we protect infant and preborn human life.

In an article in Issues in Law and Medicine (vol. 22, numbers 2&3, Fall 2006/Spring 2007), Charles I. Lugosi argues that in the 14th Amendment, “person” and “human being” mean the same thing.

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