NO ETHICAL BYPASS OF MORAL STATUS IN STEM CELL RESEARCH

Authors

  • MARK BROWN

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Wisconsin
      Prof. Mark Brown, University of Wisconsin Colleges – Philosophy, 518 South 7th Avenue, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403, United States. Email: mark.brown@uwc.edu
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  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared

Prof. Mark Brown, University of Wisconsin Colleges – Philosophy, 518 South 7th Avenue, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403, United States. Email: mark.brown@uwc.edu

ABSTRACT

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.

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