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Review article

Neologism »Pre-Embryo« in Modern Bioethical Discussion

Tonči Matulić ; Catholic Faculty of Theology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (12 MB) pages 635-664 downloads: 623* cite
APA 6th Edition
Matulić, T. (1996). Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji. Bogoslovska smotra, 66 (4), 635-664. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Matulić, Tonči. "Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji." Bogoslovska smotra, vol. 66, no. 4, 1996, pp. 635-664. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Matulić, Tonči. "Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji." Bogoslovska smotra 66, no. 4 (1996): 635-664.
Matulić, T. (1996). 'Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji', Bogoslovska smotra, 66(4), pp. 635-664. Available at: (Accessed 27 September 2021)
Matulić T. Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji. Bogoslovska smotra [Internet]. 1996 [cited 2021 September 27];66(4):635-664. Available from:
T. Matulić, "Neologizam »predembrij« u suvremenoj bioetičkoj diskusiji", Bogoslovska smotra, vol.66, no. 4, pp. 635-664, 1996. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 27 September 2021]

In modern bioethical and embryologic literature neologism »pre-embryo« occupies very important place. A British embryologist for rats, Ann McLaren, introduced it in 1986, in wider embryologie discussion. Authors that use it in theirs articles on human embryology emphasize by it importance of natural-scientific perceptions about the beginning of the human individual life. Also, by it, they dispute and refuse the meaning of philosophical and theological reflection about beginning of human individual life. In his article the author is representing evolution and improvement of technics of human artificial reproduction and interventions in the earliest stages of human antenatal development. These are hypotheses for introducing the word »pre-embryo« on modern human embryology. Three reciprocally exclusive approaches are in understanding of neologism »pre-embryo« out which stand. The first is trying to prove its scientific foundation because it describes exactly a preembryonal stage of development before appearance of primitive embryonal track (till 14 or 15 days after conception). This stage is not important for development of humane life because we still cannot yet speak about human life in ontological sence. The second approach is rejecting neologism pre-embryo as unnecessary, unfounded and unacceptable for it rejects ontological nature of a human embryo as a human before 14th day. In third approach that author has preferred they accept pre-embryo in functional but not ontological sense. With it, that is to say, is possible to articulate first 14 days after conception. Nevertheless, in spite of that how we call it, we are always dealing, from the very first moment of conception, with human being. In relation with it the use of that neologism in human embryology does not necessarily cover or abolish fact that we are talking about human being in ontological sense despite a stage of its development.

embryology; artificial fecundation; pre-embryo; individual; human being

Hrčak ID: 32275



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