Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (2):105-129 (2009)

Abstract
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11017-009-9099-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,116
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

Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Abortion and Infanticide.Michael Tooley - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (1):37-65.
Sixteen Days.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2003 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (1):45 – 78.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and the Discarded Embryo Argument.Mark Moller - 2009 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 30 (2):131-145.
Saving Seven Embryos or Saving One Child? Michael Sandel on the Moral Status of Human Embryos.Gregor Damschen & Dieter Schönecker - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Ethics and the Life Sciences):239-245.
The Embryo Rescue Case.S. Matthew Liao - 2006 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 27 (2):141-147.
Personhood and Human Embryos and Fetuses.Carol A. Tauer - 1985 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 10 (3):253-266.
On Potentiality and Respect for Embryos: A Reply to Mary Mahowald.Alfonso Gómez-Lobo - 2005 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 26 (2):105-110.
Embryonic Stem Cells and Property Rights.A. -K. M. Andersson - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (3):221-242.
Stem Cell Research, Personhood and Sentience.Lisa Bortolotti & John Harris - 2005 - Reproductive Biomedicine Online 10:68-75.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-03-04

Total views
83 ( #131,094 of 2,454,682 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,768 of 2,454,682 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes