Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared
NO ETHICAL BYPASS OF MORAL STATUS IN STEM CELL RESEARCH
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 12–19, January 2013
How to Cite
BROWN, M. (2013), NO ETHICAL BYPASS OF MORAL STATUS IN STEM CELL RESEARCH. Bioethics, 27: 12–19. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2011.01891.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2011
- moral status;
- stem cell research;
- human embryo;
- induced pluripotent stem cells;
- moral complicity
Recent advances in reprogramming technology do not bypass the ethical challenge of embryo sacrifice. Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) research has been and almost certainly will continue to be conducted within the context of embryo sacrifice. If human embryos have moral status as human beings, then participation in iPS research renders one morally complicit in their destruction; if human embryos have moral status as mere precursors of human beings, then advocacy of iPS research policy that is inhibited by embryo sacrifice concerns renders one morally complicit in avoidable harms to persons. Steps may be taken to address these complicity concerns, but in the final analysis there is no alternative to achieving clarity with respect to the moral status of the human embryo.