The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

ectopioc pregnancies: 'removing baby' is the moral equivalent of removing the tubes with baby in it

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 470 times Debate No: 55549
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




people say the ends do not justify the means. they use the principle of double effect as a way around what might otherwise be thought of a an evil means etc.
but at least as applied in any cases I can see, and probably in theory too, it opens up to a slippery slope.
people like to say these hardline rules, the ends don't justify the means but principle of double effect works, help avoid "slippery slopes" etc. but even these "principle of double effect" arguments open up a can of worms, a slippery slope

an example is ectopic pregnancies. they say you can just remove the tubes with the baby inside. so couldn't the principle be extended to removing uterus's with the baby in it, when the baby poses a risk to the mother?
isn't that just an end run around the rule that you can't have an abortion etc?
and if you could just remove the uterus with the mother in it, why couldn't you just remove the baby without the uterus?

how is there really any difference between removing a uterus with the baby in it, and removing the baby itself? [not killing it directly as w an abortion]

directly killing a child could be seen as inherently evil, but just pulling the baby out is very arguably completely different. it's so much more like pulling it out in a uterus, than it is directly killing it, that it's essentially the same thing.


With ectopic pregnancies, they must abort the fetus, or else the tube will rupture and possibly kill the mother. Usually, the tube is removed along with the pregnancy because it's easier that way than trying to open and close the thin tissues of a Fallopian tube. Also, the woman has a second tube to release eggs with when one is removed. Removing the uterus is totally different because a woman only has one and removing it would render her infertile.

Removing a tube along with a pregnancy isn't done to say "at least I didn't have an abortion...". It's done because it's a simpler procedure with less risks, and won't make the mother infertile.

Removing a uterus with a baby is completely different because it would make the woman unable to have any more kids. Either way, you wind up with a dead fetus, but at least by only removing the child you don't make the mother sterile.

I apologize if I am debating the wrong argument. Please correct me in Round Two if this is the case.
Debate Round No. 1


i wouldnt classify ectopic pregnancies and tube removal as abortion. in some sense it is. but it is done as a 'moral' alternative. that is, it isn't direct killing so it wouldn't be considered abortion. abortion is direct killing.

i'm not arguing to remove the uterus. im arguing to just remove the baby. no tubes, no other organs. if removing the tubes with a baby in it is considered morally legit, just removing the baby alone should be considered legit as well.


It's still considered an abortion. The medical treatment of an ectopic pregnancy is an abortion. As I said in round one, the only reason the tube is taken as well is because it's much simpler to remove the entire tube than trying to remove the fetus and leave the tube intact. It's an abortion coupled with the removal of a Fallopian tube.

What would make the case of an abortion (and subsequent removal of the Fallopian tube) for an ectopic pregnancy moral is that it's a medically necessary procedure. Without the treatment, the tube will rupture and the mother will die. It isn't moral because you're not directly killing the fetus, it's moral because without the abortion, the mother will die.
Debate Round No. 2


that is not the way moral theologians and philosophers describe it. they say it is moral because it is the "prniciple of double effect". this means it is not an ends means sitaution to begin with. this is argued by conservative religious types who do not believe the ends justifies the means. if it were as you said, then anytime the mother is at risk, you could do even a direct abortion and it would be moral. i have my quibbles with the theory, but that' the theory.

and, i still take issue with you calling it an abortion.

and, im sure in many situations you could just remove the baby, at least in place other than the tube. my point still remains that it is essentially the same as removing it with the tube etc. you haven't really addressed this, other than to say the point is moot due to various factors.


Well, the procedure is called an abortion or termination. Only using the medical name.

I guess that removing a fetus without the tube and removing the fetus with the tube are the same then? Either way, it winds up killing the fetus. I don't see how that's different from a direct abortion however, because even by merely removing the fetus, it's still cut off from the mother's blood supply and will quickly die after that. Both options (simple removal vs. direct abortion) have the same result, so are they that different from a moral standpoint?
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con did not understand the debate concept from the beginning. Con concedes that it is a moral equivalent "Either way, it winds up killing the fetus." Point Pro.