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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 9, Issue 4, Winter 2009

Thomas K. Nelson, M.D.
Pages 725-736

The Revelation of Personhood

The foundation of bioethics is the dignity of the human person. The concept of personhood developed from Christian Revelation. The marks of personhood include individuality, substantiality, rationality, incommunicability, and relatedness. Relevant issues for bioethics include the reality of personhood, the inseparability of human nature from human personhood, and the import of personhood for the inviolability of every human being. The recent bioethical instruction, Dignitas personae, reasserts that the embryo should be treated as a person and contains a latent philosophical argument for defining the embryo as a person. The struggle to conceptualize personhood is the effort to value every human being as the image and likeness of God, who is ineffably Triune in his Personhood. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 9.4 (Winter 2009): 725–736.

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