Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Ethical Views of Buddhist, Hindu and Catholic Leaders in Malaysia

Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (2):467-485 (2016)

Abstract
Embryonic Stem Cell Research raises ethical issues. In the process of research, embryos may be destroyed and, to some, such an act entails the ‘killing of human life’. Past studies have sought the views of scientists and the general public on the ethics of ESCR. This study, however, explores multi-faith ethical viewpoints, in particular, those of Buddhists, Hindus and Catholics in Malaysia, on ESCR. Responses were gathered via semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. Three main ethical quandaries emerged from the data: sanctity of life, do no harm, and ‘intention’ of the research. Concerns regarding the sanctity of life are directed at particular research protocols which interfere with religious notions of human ensoulment and early consciousness. The principle of ‘do no harm’ which is closely related to ahimsa prohibits all acts of violence. Responses obtained indicate that respondents either discourage research that inflicts harm on living entities or allow ESCR with reservations. ‘Intention’ of the research seems to be an interesting and viable rationale that would permit ESCR for the Buddhists and Hindus. Research that is intended for the purpose of alleviating human suffering is seen as being ethical. This study also notes that Catholics oppose ESCR on the basis of the inviolability of human life
Keywords Do no harm  Embryo  Ethics  Intention  Sanctity of life  Stem cell research
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-015-9666-9
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References found in this work BETA

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Intercultural Perspective.LeRoy Walters - 2004 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 14 (1):3-38.
The Moral Status of the Human Embryo.Robert P. George & Alfonso Gomez-Lobo - 2005 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 48 (2):201-210.

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