Does Respect for Embryos Entail Respect for Gametes?
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2004; 25(3): 199-208
Respect for human embryos is often defended on the basis of the potentiality argument: embryos deserve respect because they already possess potentially the features that in adults are fully actualized. Opponents of this argument challenge it by claiming that if embryos should be respected because they are potentially adults, then gametes should be respected because they are potentially embryos. This article rejects this reductio ad absurdum argument by showing that there are two different types of potentiality involved so that the transitivity of potentiality does not hold up in this case. Respect for embryos does not logically entail respect for gametes.
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Gomez-Lobo, Alfonso (2005)In order to understand the nature of human embryos I first distinguish between active and passive potentiality, and then argue that the former is found in human gametes and embryos (even in embryos in vitro that may fail ...