Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3):170–189 (2007)

Jeff McMahan
Oxford University
The main objection to human embryonic stem cell research is that it involves killing human embryos, which are essentially beings of the same sort that you and I are. This objection presupposes that we once existed as early embryos and that we had the same moral status then that we have now. This essay challenges both those presuppositions, but focuses primarily on the first. I argue first that these presuppositions are incompatible with widely accepted beliefs about both assisted conception and monozygotic twinning. I then argue that we never existed as embryos. If this last claim is right, killing an embryo does not kill someone like you or me but merely prevents one of us from existing
Keywords killing  assisted conception  stem cells  ethics  embryo
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2007.00488.x
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References found in this work BETA

A Defense of Abortion.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1971 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (1):47-66.
The Morality of Killing Human Embryos.Bonnie Steinbock - 2006 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 34 (1):26-34.
Life's Dominion.Dworkin Ronald - 1993 - Vintage Books.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why is an Egg Donor a Genetic Parent, but Not a Mitochondrial Donor?Monika Piotrowska - 2019 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 28 (3):488-498.
Nine Months.Elselijn Kingma - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (3):371-386.
In Vitro Eugenics.Robert Sparrow - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (11):725-731.
The Constitution of the Human Embryo as Substantial Change.David Alvargonzález - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):172-191.
We Are Human Beings.Andrew McGee - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (2):148-171.

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