Human cloning and embryo research: the 2003 John J. Conley lecture on medical ethics
George, Robert P.
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2004; 25(1): 3-20
The author, a member of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics, discusses ethical issues raised by human cloning, whether for purposes of bringing babies to birth or for research purposes. He first argues that every cloned human embryo is a new, distinct, and enduring organism, belonging to the species Homo sapiens, and directing its own development toward maturity. He then distinguishes between two types of capacities belonging to individual organisms belonging to this species, an immediately exerciseable capacity and a basic natural capacity that develops over time. He argues that it is the second type of capacity that is the ground for full moral respect, and that this capacity (and its concomitant degree of respect) belongs to cloned human embryos no less than to adult human beings. He then considers and rejects counter-arguments to his position, including the suggestion that the capacity of embryos is equivalent to the capacity of somatic cells, that full human rights are afforded only to human organisms with functioning brains, that the possibility of twinning diminishes the moral status of embryos, that the fact that people do not typically mourn the loss of early embryos implies that they have a diminished moral status, that the fact that early spontaneous abortions occur frequently diminishes the moral status of embryos, and that his arguments depend upon a concept of ensoulment. He concludes that if the moral status of cloned human embryos is equivalent to that of adults, then public policy should be based upon this assumption.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
George, Robert P. (2002-04-17)
La recherche sur les embryons: Avis 2002.3: La recherche sur les embryons (I). Les cellules souches et le clonage thérapeutique; Avis 2003.1: La recherche sur les embryons (II). Note complémentaire sur la Convention d'Oviedo; En annexe: Avis 2002.2: Les essais cliniques portant sur des médicaments à usage humain [Research on embryos: Opinion 2002.3 Research on embryos (1). Stem cells and therapeutic cloning. Opinion 2003.1 Research on embryos (II). Complementary note on the Convention of Oveido; Appendix: Opinion 2002.2: Clinical trials of drugs for human use] Luxembourg. Commission Consultative Nationale d'Ethique pour les Sciences de la Vie et de la Santé [C.N.E.] (2003)
George, Robert P.; Lee, Patrick (2009-04)