In an attempt to provide some clarification in the abortion issue it has recently been proposed that since 'brain death' is used to define the end of life, 'brain life' would be a logical demarcation for life's beginning. This paper argues in support of this position, not on empirical grounds, but because of what it reflects of what is valuable about the term 'life'. It is pointed out that 'life' is an ambiguous concept as it is used in English, obscuring the differences between being alive and having a life, a crucial distinction for bioethical questions. The implications of this distinction for the moral debate about abortion are discussed.
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