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The ethics of using embryonic stem cells


Black, R, The ethics of using embryonic stem cells, Pacifica, 16, (1) pp. 89-100. ISSN 1030-570X (2003) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2003 by University of Divinity

DOI: doi:10.1177/1030570X0301600106


The ethics of the use of embryonic stem cells can be determined in three stages. First, the ethical framework needs to be established. For this purpose, a renewed form of moral realism should replace the logically-flawed utilitarianism that is widely used in discussions today. Second, the ontological status of the embryos from which stem cells are removed needs to be determined. An approach that sees embryos as personal bodies offers a middle way between the polar traditions that see embryos either as mere human tissue or as full human persons. Finally, particular ethical obligations can be deduced. It is ethical to use embryos surplus to the needs of assisted reproduction in research whose purpose is to enhance life substantially where appropriate consent is obtained and the bodily material not utilised in research is disposed of respectfully but not otherwise.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ethics, embryonic stem cells, moral realism, utilitarianism, ontological status of embryos
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Medical ethics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Bioethics
UTAS Author:Black, R (Professor Rufus Black)
ID Code:125706
Year Published:2003
Deposited By:Vice-Chancellors Office
Deposited On:2018-05-01
Last Modified:2018-08-29

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