Fosteret kan mærke smerte

Mathuriga Thevapalan, Rikke Svendsen, Gloire Irakunda, Pernille Steenkær Munch & Katrine Nygaard Jørgensen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


Establishing a limit for the free induced abortion is a major ethical issue. In spite of the geograph-ical closeness and the cultural similarities in Denmark, Sweden and England, the three countries have distinctly different abortion limits. In Denmark, the abortion limit is set to the 12th week of the pregnancy, in Sweden the 18th and in England the 24th. This project is based on a literature review. The ethical status of the woman and the ethical status of the fetus vary depending on the liberal and conservative perceptions. According to the liberal view, the ethical status of the fetus gradually grows through the course of pregnancy, while the woman's ethical status remains the same. According to the conservative view, the fetus already has full ethical status at conception. In relation to the fetus' ethical rights, this project specifies on fetal brain development. The focus of this study is to decide, whether the fetus can feel and perceive pain during an abortion, which will be done by describing the neurological pathway of the pain signals also called the nociceptive pathway. There are different opinions on whether the fetus can perceive pain around the 24th week as according to some, the experience of pain requires the development of a consciousness. The conclusion of the project is that the Danish, Swedish and English abortion limits are influenced by the liberal view and can be changed on this basis. The fetus is not able to feel pain until the 24th week of the pregnancy. Based on this criterion we can argue for a reduction of the English abortion limit by at least one week, while the Danish and the Swedish abortion limits can be extended to the 23th week.

UddannelserBasis - Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 jan. 2015
VejledereOle Skovgaard


  • Nociceptive
  • Abort