Coughlan, Michael J.
Bioethics. 1990 Jan; 4(1): 55-65.
Debate over human embryo research often has centered around the embryo's human status, with the assumption that beings accorded full humanhood may not be used as means to an end for other humans. Britain's Warnock Committee, for example, concluded that since the early embryo was potentially, not actually, a full human being, it legitimately could be treated, albeit briefly, as a means to an end for research purposes. Coughlan discusses the "Warnock principle," which precludes the use of human beings, the broader "Pauline principle," (from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans), which forbids the doing of evil to achieve good, and the principle of double effect, which sets down the conditions under which the occasioning of evil is justifiable. He concludes that the Warnock and Pauline principles are untenable if construed as exceptionless. Anscombe questions Coughlan's understanding of the principle of double effect, and Coughlan defends his arguments. (KIE abstract)
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