Stem cell research, personhood and sentience

In this paper the permissibility of stem cell research on early human embryos is defended. It is argued that, in order to have moral status, an individual must have an interest in its own wellbeing. Sentience is a prerequisite for having an interest in avoiding pain, and personhood is a prerequisite for having an interest in the continuation of one's own existence. Early human embryos are not sentient and therefore they are not recipients of direct moral consideration. Early human embryos do not satisfy the requirements for personhood, but there are arguments to the effect that they should be treated as persons nonetheless. These are the arguments from potentiality, symbolic value and the principle of human dignity. These arguments are challenged in this paper and it is claimed that they offer us no good reason to believe that early human embryos should be treated as persons.
Keywords persons  sentience  research ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,106
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Stem Cell Research on Embryonic Persons Is Just.Aaron Rizzieri - 2012 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (Browse Results) 9 (2):195-203.
Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Middle-Ground Positions and Moral Compromise.Angeliki Kerasidou - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:167-169.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

163 ( #28,525 of 2,171,743 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #118,057 of 2,171,743 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums