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dc.creatorElliott, Kevinen
dc.date.accessioned2011-07-12T18:20:28Zen
dc.date.available2011-07-12T18:20:28Zen
dc.date.created2007-02en
dc.date.issued2007-02en
dc.identifier0269-9702en
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitationBioethics 2007 February; 21(2): 98-110en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10822/510639en
dc.description.abstractWilliam Hurlbut, a Stanford University bioethicist and member of the President's Council on Bioethics, recently proposed a solution to the current impasse over human embryonic stem cell research in the United States. He suggested that researchers could use genetic engineering and somatic cell nuclear transfer (i.e. cloning) to develop human 'pseudo-embryos' that have no potential to develop fully into human persons. According to Hurlbut, even thinkers who typically ascribe high moral status to human embryos could approve of destroying these 'pseudo-embryos' for the sake of harvesting human embryonic stem cells. This essay argues, first, that an argument based on the 'paradox of the heap' (an argument that many 'pro-life' thinkers employ in order to defend the notion that human embryos have high moral value from the moment of conception) challenges the ethical legitimacy of Hurlbut's proposal. Second, the paper argues that this conflict may illustrate a reductio ad absurdum for this 'pro-life' argument itself rather than being a problem for Hurlbut's proposal. As a result, the paper challenges the 'pro-life'strategy of arguing that one should respond to uncertainty about the moral status of developing embryos by being morally 'cautious' and granting all human embryos full moral status from the moment of conception. It appears that one is faced with a complex series of choices (about where to draw the moral line between entities that are human persons and entities that are not), and a strict moral 'cautiousness' about this series of choices may ultimately lead to absurdity.en
dc.formatArticleen
dc.languageengen
dc.source304703en
dc.subjectBioethicsen
dc.subjectCellsen
dc.subjectCloningen
dc.subjectEmbryonic Stem Cellsen
dc.subjectEmbryosen
dc.subjectEngineeringen
dc.subjectGenetic Engineeringen
dc.subjectLifeen
dc.subjectMoral Statusen
dc.subjectResearchen
dc.subjectResearchersen
dc.subjectStem Cellsen
dc.subjectUncertaintyen
dc.subject.classificationValue / Quality of Lifeen
dc.subject.classificationCloningen
dc.subject.classificationGenetics, Molecular Biology and Microbiologyen
dc.subject.classificationStem Cell Researchen
dc.subject.classificationDonation / Procurement of Organs and Tissuesen
dc.subject.classificationResearch on Embryos and Fetusesen
dc.titleAn ironic reductio for a 'pro-life' argument: Hurlbut's proposal for stem cell researchen
dc.provenanceDigital citation created by the Bioethics Research Library, Georgetown University, for the National Information Resource on Ethics and Human Genetics, a project funded by the United States National Human Genome Research Instituteen
dc.provenanceDigital citation migrated from OpenText Livelink Discovery Server database named GenETHX to DSpace collection GenETHX hosted by Georgetown Universityen


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