Thomas Hilgers Influence On Human Development

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Dr. Thomas Hilgers is founder of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the study of reproduction and firmly supports unborn human life. He has witnessed to this life through videos that walk viewers through the development of babies still in the womb. He is a believer in “human beings with potential,” not “potential human beings,” and there is a difference. “Potential human beings” states that the fetuses have potential to be human beings, assuming they are not yet human. In contrast, “human beings with potential” means that the babies are human even though they are not yet born into the world. They have the potential, not be become human, because they already are, but potential to increase the good in the world. As Dr. Hilgers said, these …show more content…
Hilgers backed up his view of “human beings with potential” with similarities of humans and scientific ideas. His major focus was using the technology of 2D and 3D ultrasound to trace the development of the babies through gestation. His mainly pointed out the similarities between the fetus and more mature humans, as if disputing the argument that a human is not inside the woman’s womb. At twenty-five days, the heartbeat can be seen and at seven weeks, the body parts are homologous to fully developed humans—arms, legs, hands, feet, and a head with eyes. At this age, Dr. Hilgers refers to the baby as fully alive and totally human. And then by 15 weeks, the baby has distinguishable facial features. He also includes similarities between all humans: Dr. Hilgers also states that life in the womb is a shared experience of all the humans that ever existed (except Adam and Eve, but he didn’t address that). We all have the common ground of beginning life in the womb.
He also ventures to use scientific logic to convince his viewers that the fetus inside the womb is an individual human. He states that the moment the egg is fertilized by the sperm, a life is formed. When the genetic material of one (the male) joins another (the female), a new individual, with its own individual DNA, is created. The genetic differences between the mother or father and child prove that the life is not just a continued growth of the mother, but a unique individual. This baby has its own genome,
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Hilgers makes the claim that babies would not be aborted if people really knew they were human. First of all, this is not true because there are stories of mother who kill their child after failed abortions. But even if his only goal was to convince people that fetuses too are humans, I believe he fell a little short. I would have liked to see a few more logical defenses. This could have carried even greater weight coming from a doctor and scientist. For example, I really appreciated the point that the child is genetically unique and therefore, its own person. But, on the basis of pictures and emotion, I do believe this video has the potential to cause someone to second guess his or her view of abortion—not as much a personal sonogram of a woman during which a mother can hear the heartbeat of her own child, but nonetheless, if one does not believe that a fetus is a human being, this video may be able to convince him otherwise. After this point, the title “Putting a Face on the Unborn Human Person” means so much

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