Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3):245–263 (2007)

Katrien Devolder
Oxford University
We discuss in this essay the alternative techniques proposed for the isolation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that attempt to satisfy moral issues surrounding killing embryos but show that these techniques are either redundant or do not achieve their intended aim. We discuss the difficulties associated with defining a human embryo and how the lack of clarity on this issue antagonises the ethical debate and impedes hESC research. We present scientific evidence showing that isolation of hESCs does not necessarily "kill" human embryos. In addition, we argue that even those who accord inviolable moral status to the embryo should agree that hESC research is morally obligatory, as it is beneficial to the developmental potential of the embryo and society as a whole.
Keywords moral status  embryo  altered nuclear transfer  embryonic stem cell research  stem cell research  embryo reconstitution
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2007.00477.x
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Creating and Sacrificing Embryos for Stem Cells.K. Devolder - 2005 - Journal of Medical Ethics 31 (6):366-370.

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