David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (2):105-129 (2009)
This essay has two purposes. The first is to argue that our moral duties towards human embryos should be assessed in light of the Golden Rule by asking the normative question, “how would I want to be treated if I were an embryo?” Some reject the proposition “I was an embryo” on the basis that embryos should not be recognized as persons. This essay replies to five common arguments denying the personhood of human embryos: (1) that early human embryos lack ontological individuation; (2) that they are members of the species Homo sapiens but not yet human persons; (3) that the argument for personhood commits the “heap argument” fallacy; (4) that since human procreation in nature is inefficient, human embryos cannot be persons; and (5) the “burning building” scenario proves that all arguments for personhood are irrational or inconsistent. The second purpose is to set forth and criticize in light of the normative judgement defended in part one the present legal situation of cryo-preserved embryos in the U.S. The essay ends by proposing legislative reforms to protect ex utero human embryos.
|Keywords||Human embryo Personhood Embryo experimentation Cryo-preserved embryos Frozen embryos Human rights In vitro fertilization Assisted reproductive technology|
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References found in this work BETA
George J. Annas (1989). A French Homunculus in a Tennessee Court. Hastings Center Report 19 (6):20-22.
E. Christian Brugger (2005). In Defense of Transferring Heterologous Embryos. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 5 (1):95-112.
Maureen L. Condic & Samuel B. Condic (2005). Defining Organisms by Organization. The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 5 (2):331-353.
Robert J. Fogelin (1991). Understanding Arguments: An Introduction to Informal Logic. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Norman M. Ford (1988). When Did I Begin?: Conception of the Human Individual in History, Philosophy, and Science. Cambridge University Press.
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