Babies and Their Mothers

By D. W. Winnicott; Clare Winnicott et al. | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER FIVE
The Beginning
of the Individual

IN a letter to The Times dated 3rd December 1966, Dr. Fisher1 took up once more for discussion the question: when does the individual start? He was of course dealing with the Roman Catholic view that abortion is murder. The main thing in the letter was that surely it is the time of birth that is the obvious moment at which the individual starts. This is a point of view which could be shared by many but it seems to call for a statement of the various developmental stages which could be used in a discussion of this kind.

Here then is a statement which can be used and certainly it can be widened in scope. What seems to be needed is an acceptance of some degree of need for economy in the use of ideas along with the inclusion of reference to all the relevant physical and psychological phenomena.

(1) "Conceived of." The beginning of children is when they

____________________
1
Then Archbishop of Canterbury. Eds.

-51-

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