- Notes on the Contributors
- Methods in Bioethics
- The Way We Reason Now: Reflective Equilibrium in Bioethics
- Mental Disorder, Moral Agency, and the Self
- ‘Reinventing’ the Rule of Double Effect
- Policy‐Making in Pluralistic Societies
- Tiers Without Tears: the Ethics of a Two‐Tier Health Care System
- Justice and the Elderly
- Organ Transplantation
- For Dignity or Money: Feminists on the Commodification of Women's Reproductive Labour
- The Definition of Death
- The Aging Society and the Expansion of Senility: Biotechnological and Treatment Goals
- Death is a Punch in the Jaw: Life‐Extension and its Discontents
- Precedent Autonomy, Advance Directives, and End‐of‐Life Care
- Physician‐Assisted Death: the State of the Debate
- Abortion Revisited
- Moral Status, Moral Value, and Human Embryos: Implications for Stem Cell Research
- Therapeutic Cloning: Politics and Policy
- Population Genetic Research and Screening: Conceptual and Ethical Issues
- Genetic Interventions and The Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings
- Pharmacogenomics: Ethical and Regulatory Issues
- Clinical Equipoise: Foundational Requirement or Fundamental Error?
- Research on Cognitively Impaired Adults
- Research in Developing Countries
- Animal Experimentation
- The Implications of Public Health for Bioethics
- Global Health
- Bioethics and Bioterrorism
Abstract and Keywords
This article begins with an introduction to the biology behind embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. Next it presents briefly four views of moral status, based on four different criteria: biological humanity, personhood, possession of interests, and having a future-like-ours (FLO). On two of these views (the person view and the interest view), embryos clearly lack moral status, but they most likely do not have moral status on the FLO account either. Only the biological humanity criterion combined with the view that life begins at conception results in the conclusion that very early extracorporeal embryos have full moral status, making ESC research that destroys embryos morally wrong. This explains why even some who are anti-abortion are not against ESC research: they do not view the very early, extracorporeal embryo as having the same moral status as the fetus.
Bonnie Steinbock is Professor of Philosophy at the University at Albany, where she teaches courses in ethics, applied ethics, philosophy of law, bioethics, public policy, and public health. She is also on the faculty of the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College. She has lectured all over the world on the ethics of reproduction and genetics, and has appeared in various media, including The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. Her many publications include over 60 articles and a book, Life Before Birth:The Moral and Legal Status of Embryos and Fetuses (Oxford 1992). She has also edited Legal and Ethical Issues in Human Reproduction (Ashgate 2002). She is a Fellow of the Hastings Centre, the Chair of its Fellows Council, and a member of its Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Ethics Committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
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