Lecture: What does it mean to be a person?

Untangling personhood, from Genesis to popular culture

During my time as a clinician, I worked in a neonatal intensive care unit, where the NHS spent as much as £1500 every day to keep an extremely premature baby alive, through a vast array of technologies and dozens of highly-trained professionals. Yet one floor away in the same hospital, other NHS staff were informing pregnant mothers that their own unborn children had serious health problems, such as Down’s Syndrome, and offering them a termination. What does this reveal about the complex and possibly contradictory way society views what makes someone a human and what that life is worth?

Back in 2012, I gave a lecture at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, at the University of Cambridge, on these difficult questions about human identity. You can watch it below.

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