The moral status of the embryo post-Dolly
Journal of Medical Ethics 2005 April; 31(4): 221-225
Cameron and Williamson have provided a provocative and timely review of the ethical questions prompted by the birth of Dolly. The question Cameron and Williamson seek to address is "In the world of Dolly, when does a human embryo acquire respect?". Their initial discussion sets the scene by providing a valuable overview of attitudes towards the embryo, summarising various religious, scientific, and philosophical viewpoints. They then ask, "What has Dolly changed?" and identify five changes, the first being that fertilisation is no longer required to create an embryo. Following this analysis they then ask when an embryo created other than by fertilisation begins to acquire respect. This paper explores the ethical and legal issues highlighted by Cameron and Williamson's paper.
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