Bio Med Ethics

Bio Med Ethics - January 30, 2008 Page 1 Ethics of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
January 30, 2008 Page 1 Ethics of Stem-Cell Research McGee and Caplan: The Ethics and Politics of Small Sacrifices in Stem Cell Research I. Prelims A. What is Stem-Cell Research? 1. Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. 2. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. B. Why is it so controversial? 1. The best stem-cells come from human embryos, and when extracted some are harmed “killing the unborn child” C. Three main sources of stem-cells: 1. Various human organs and tissues (‘adult’ or ‘somatic’ stem-cells) 2. “Left-over” frozen embryos from fertility clinics 3. Embryos that have been cloned D. Embryonic—as opposed to ‘adult’ or Somatic—stem-cells are ‘pluripotent’ which makes them medically very useful. II. Tension in McGee and Caplan’s Arguments A. On the one hand, Embryos are persons that are destroyed (killed) when stem cells are taken (Strand 1) B. On the other hand, Embryos are persons but are not really destroyed by stem-cell extraction (Strand 2) III. Strand 1 A. The Big Ethical Question 1. Are we permitted to intentionally take the lives of embryos (persons) for the sake of the greater good? a) McGee and Caplan say ‘yes’ B. McGee and Caplan are utilitarians: Stem-Cell Research is morally obligatory given the good consequences that result from the practice. C. Assume the embryo is a person, it has a right to life; but that right doesn’t entail that the embryo can never be killed. 1.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 3

Bio Med Ethics - January 30, 2008 Page 1 Ethics of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online