I.               Legal Definition of Living Being

A.    Abortion Context

To find the legal definition of a living thing, a person, I thought it best to use abortion as a starting point because the definition of life and when it begins is at the crux of the argument.


1.     Roe v. Wade(Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113  )

a.     def of a person

The court first attempts to define a person by using the constitution, namely the 14th amendment.  The court concludes, using a strict interpretation model that since there is no prenatal use of the word person a fetus is not a person:


The Constitution does not define "person" in so many words. Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment contains three references to "person." The first, in defining "citizens," speaks of "persons born or naturalized in the United States." The word also appears both in the Due Process Clause and in the Equal Protection Clause. "Person" is used in other places in the Constitution: in the listing of qualifications for Representatives and Senators, Art. I, 2, cl. 2, and 3, cl. 3; in the Apportionment Clause, Art. I, 2, cl. 3; n53 in the Migration and Importation provision, Art. I, 9, cl. 1; in the Emolument Clause, Art. I, 9, cl. 8; in the Electors provisions, Art. II, 1, cl. 2, and the superseded cl. 3; in the provision outlining qualifications for the office of President, Art. II, 1, cl. 5; in the Extradition provisions, Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, and the superseded Fugitive Slave Clause 3; and in the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-second Amendments, as well as in 2 and 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But in nearly all these instances, the use of the word is such that it has application only postnatal. None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible pre-natal application. n54


[***HR26]  [26]
All this, together with our observation, supra
, that throughout the major portion of the 19th century prevailing legal abortion practices were far freer than they are today, persuades us that HN11Go to the description of this Headnote.the word "person," as used in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not include the unborn. n55 This is in accord with the results reached in those few cases where the issue has been squarely presented. McGarvey v. Magee-Womens Hospital, 340 F.Supp. 751 (WD Pa. 1972); Byrn v. New York City Health & Hospitals Corp., 31 N. Y. 2d 194, 286 N. E. 2d 887 (1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-434; Abele v. Markle, 351 F.Supp. 224 (Conn. 1972), appeal docketed, No. 72-730. Cf. Cheaney v. State,     Ind., at    , 285 N. E. 2d, at 270; Montana v. Rogers, 278 F.2d 68, 72 (CA7 1960), aff'd sub nom. Montana v. Kennedy, 366 U.S. 308 (1961); Keeler v. Superior Court, 2 Cal. 3d 619, 470 P. 2d 617 (1970); State v. Dickinson, 28  [*159]  Ohio St. 2d 65, 275 N. E. 2d 599 (1971). Indeed, our decision in United States v. Vuitch, 402 U.S. 62 (1971), inferentially is to the same effect, for we there would not have indulged in statutory interpretation favorable to abortion in specified circumstances if the necessary consequence was the  [**730]  termination of life entitled to Fourteenth Amendment protection.



Thus, one might conclude that any Artificial being is not and cannot be a person, since the constitution does not refer to artificial beings.  This line of thinking, however, would be incorrect because the distinction the constitution and the courts present is a biological one; i.e. when does a fetus become a person, and an Artificial being, as the name clearly suggests, has no equivalent, logical biological timetable.


One can clearly see this biological reference in the trimester approach in Roe:


(a) For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician.

(b) For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the State, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.

(c) For the stage subsequent to viability, the State in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life  [*165]  may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation  [***184]  of the life or health of the mother.


In conclusion, Roe provides a legal distinction as to when life begins but not what life is.  Further research into the matter illustrates that there is no legal definition of life; apart from the standard biological ones.  Thus, a legal definition of a living being would be something like:


In biology, an entity has traditionally been considered to be alive if it exhibits all the following phenomena at least once during its existence:

1.  Growth

2.  Metabolism, consuming, transforming and storing energy/mass; growing by absorbing and reorganizing mass; excreting waste

3.  Motion, either moving itself, or having internal motion

4.  Reproduction, the ability to create roughly exact copies of itself

5.  Response to stimuli - the ability to measure properties of its surrounding environment, and act upon certain conditions.