The good: Fry-Revere's discussion of the 'personhood' conundrum is intriguing. The bad: The author does not present a comprehensive libertarian bioethics theory. The ugly: The writer's critique of Engelhardt, Jr.'s book is valid but tedious.
The 'personhood' quandary will be the focus of the remainder of this post. Fry-Revere implicitly rejects Ayn Rand's objectivist bioethics theory by dismissing the potentiality argument utilized by Rand to assert that fetuses, infants, and the mentally retarded have rights while animals do not have rights. Incidentally, Engelhardt denies the plausibility of the potentiality argument and believes that marginal humans (fetuses, children, the mentally retarded, and animals) do not have rights. Fry-Revere reaches the same conclusion as Rand in the marginal humans debate by claiming that a being achieves 'personhood' when the being possesses "the minimum amount of mental equipment necessary" to exhibit reason "regardless of whether it is ever employed." The latter qualification maintains 'personhood' for the following groups possessing the appropriate reasoning tools: sleeping beings, stupid beings, and ill beings. Fry-Revere's 'personhood' principle is novel and impressive and persuasive. Do critics view her argument as a sophisticated variant of the potentiality argument? I can think of no other obvious objections, but I shall seek and report powerful contrary opinions.