Persons and Their Bodies: How We Should Think About Human Embryos
McLachlan, Hugh V.
Health Care Analysis: An International Journal of Health Care Philosophy and Policy 2002; 10(2): 155-164
The status of human embryos is discussed particularly in the light of the claim by Fox, in Health Care Analysis 8 that it would be useful to think of them in terms of cyborg metaphors. It is argued that we should consider human embryos for what they are-- partially formed human bodies--rather than for what they are like in some respects (and unlike in others)--cyborgs. However to settle the issue of the status of the embryo is not to answer the moral questions which arise concerning how embryos should be treated. Since persons rather than bodies have rights, embryos do not have rights. However, whether or not embryos have rights, people can have duties concerning them. Furthermore, the persons whose fully developed bodies embryos will, might (or might have) become can have rights. Contrary to what is often assumed, it is not merely persons who have (or have had) living, developed human bodies who have moral rights: so it is argued in this paper.