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Defining the Essence of Being Human

41 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2012  

Efthimios Parasidis

Ohio State University

Date Written: July 5, 2012


For centuries, anthropologists have probed the planet to unearth evidence that assists in answering the fundamental question of what it means to be human. Embryologists and geneticists more recently joined the investigation and have meaningfully supplemented the rich history of anthropological research with detailed analysis based on contemporary medical data. Despite a plethora of significant findings that have resulted from these endeavors, lawmakers, and legal scholars have often neglected or misinterpreted scientific discoveries. These shortcomings have proven detrimental, as evidenced by regulatory deficiencies surrounding biomedical innovations and recent legislative proposals that ostensibly rely on scientific factors to define human life. The goal of this article is to reframe the legal debate of defining what it means to be human by bridging the gap between science and law.

Keywords: legal theory, defining human life, abortion, law and anthropology

JEL Classification: I18, K32

Suggested Citation

Parasidis, Efthimios, Defining the Essence of Being Human (July 5, 2012). Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, Vol. 13, No. 2, 2012. Available at SSRN:

Efthimios Parasidis (Contact Author)

Ohio State University ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

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