What is the legal definition of human life?
Specifically in a court of law in the U.S.
Please don't give me your personal opinions. I only want to know how this is defined for criminal/ethical purposes.
- coragryphLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Definitions would obviously vary by jurisdiction. Here is the definition of "human being" used by federal courts.
Quoting from U.S. v. Nelson, 53 M.J. 319, 323 (2002):
The term "human being" means a child that was "born alive," and that "born alive" means that child was wholly expelled from its mother's body and possessed or was capable of an existence by means of a circulation independent of her own.
See also U.S. v. Gibson, 1954 WL 2725 (AFCMR, 1954).
- James PLv 61 decade ago
concerning what? when a person is considered human before birth, or when they're considered legally dead?
If you are talking about abortion, the courts look at viability, which is around 22 to 24 weeks old, after that, abortion is illegal (unless to save the mom's life). Viability means when the baby is able to live on it's own, outside the mother.Source(s): Just took a Law, Ethics, and Life Sciences class.
- daspook19Lv 41 decade ago
The courts are purposefully vague. Anytime a new opinion is offered, then it can be a different interpretation.
- ArrowLv 51 decade ago
The definition continues, like the species, to evolve. New court, new definition.