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Ethics in Stem Cell Research

Autor:   •  April 4, 2014  •  Essay  •  610 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,368 Views

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Stem cell research has been in ethical debates for quite some time now. There are many arguments on the ethics directly correlated with stem cell research because of the way it is harvested and that is from a mother's body from a fertilized egg in the pre-embryo state that has potential to become a fetus. The amazing thing about what stem cell research does is that this pre-embryo has the potential for all 220 types of cells and is basically a blank slate, with direction, to become at one point a lung, liver, brain, etc. The research potential of these stem cells is endless and could be the cure of many diseases such as cancer, diabetes, leukemia, etc. The people awaiting cures for their diseases and stem cell research and the potential there is amazing, however, there are ethical concerns. We will evaluate stem cell research using the three types of ethical theories.

Kantian ethics formula is that you should treat persons as a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves. Given that human embryos are persons from the time of their conception, killing them to obtain those stem cells for research fails to treat them as ends in themselves. But the question many have is, "is the pre-embryo an actual person?" The actual event of conception is responsible for a person to be created and therefore it is a person upon conception. If you think of it in a medical perspective, a woman who has a positive pregnancy test and ends up miscarrying shortly after conception, they do not say they lost a pre-embryonic cell, they say they have lost "the baby." So, according to Kant, this pre-embryonic cell should not be used to just create research no matter the end being to cure sickness.

According to the supporters of stem cell research they generally take on the Utilitarian Ethical Theory in that sacrificing a few embryos to use their stem cells is justified because the research and the promising outlook of medical cures will help


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