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November 25 Notes.docx

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University of Ottawa

November 25 20111Stem cells derived from preimplantation embryosUnlike in the case of aborted fetuses the embryos are alive at the time when the cells are derived from them which poses a moral problemThe issue here Do we consider embryos to have intrinsic value something thats a part of you and it cannot be taken away or only symbolic valueIf embryos are potential human beings then they have intrinsic value and we should oppose all nontherapeutic research on embryosIf we believe that embryos are previable fetuses and they have no interests of their own and thus no rights we dont have moral obligation to embryos and so it is acceptable to use them in different types of researchHowever some believe that even if they do not have an intrinsic moral value they may have a symbolic value since they are to become humansThen we should endorse only research that has a good reason that is research which cannot be pursued in any other way and which will greatly benefit humanityex We would oppose toxicology tests on embryos We should create additional safeguards that protect the rights of the people that donate them etc2What about creating embryos specifically for stem cell researchMany people are fine using embryos for research but against creating embryos specifically for researchThe main problemWe treat these embryos as products or as mere objectsThis may lead to commercialization and demeaning of procreation and parentingRobertson Two types of concerns are consequentialist Utilitarianand deontologicalConsequentialistUtilitarianism concernCreating embryos for research will demean human procreation put women donating eggs at risk and carry over this attitude toward other research subjectsRobertsons response Not very likely but we need to be aware of the risks for womenDeontological concernAgainst Kants idea that we should never use another human solely as a means to an endCreating embryos specifically for research purposes shows an inherent disrespect for human life and is morally wrongThis position assumes that the embryo is already a human beingpersonRobertsons response The same deontologists do not seem to have a problem with the IVF procedure This creates inconsistency in their position on the status of human embryos
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