Controversy Over Stem Cell Research Essay

Controversy Over Stem Cell Research Essay-16
So, it satisfies the first principle to a very great degree.On the other hand, there is a case to be made that the harvesting of human embryonic stem cells violates the second principle in that it results in the destruction of human life with value (i.e. Accordingly, both principles apparently cannot simultaneously be respected in the case of embryonic stem cell research.

So, it satisfies the first principle to a very great degree.On the other hand, there is a case to be made that the harvesting of human embryonic stem cells violates the second principle in that it results in the destruction of human life with value (i.e. Accordingly, both principles apparently cannot simultaneously be respected in the case of embryonic stem cell research.

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With due regard to that, the following discussion provides a brief overview of some of the core ethical issues arising from the Research Involving Embryos Bill 2002 and to some extent the Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002.

The public debate has focused mostly on ethical problems associated with the destruction of embryos (in the case of the first Bill), and with the creation of cloned human embryos (in the case of the second Bill).

It results, in other words, in the expiration of the very beginnings of a possible human life.

Issues about the value of life emerge here in perhaps their most stark and poignant form in the question of whether life for those already existing should be improved at the seeming expense of a possible human life that has just come into being.

Or should we give more weight to the second, and prohibit destructive embryonic research because it violates respect for the value of the embryo as the very beginnings of a possible human life?

This, at bottom, is the ethical problem generated by destructive embryo research.It is the nature of scientific discoveries and progress, that they are not easily predicted.Both advances and impediments to advancement can arise unexpectedly.It is somewhat of an irony that the discovery of cells with such a tremendous potential for improving and prolonging our own lives, should bring with it some of the most trenchant and intractable questions about the value of life itself.The harvesting of embryonic stem cells results in the destruction of the embryos from which they are harvested.Crude as it may sound, responding to this problem calls for a moral calculationa decision about how the positive value of destructive embryo research is to be weighted, from a moral point of view, in comparison to the negative value (or disvalue) of destroying embryos.Whatever way that calculation is done, it is important to get a clear idea of what moral weight each side of the equation has.A sound evaluation of stem cell research needs to take account of the likelihood of achieving its beneficial outcomes.In matters of science, and particularly, in areas that are newly developing and comparatively uncharted (such as embryonic stem cell research), it is sometimes difficult to settle on those probabilities with complete confidence.The current paper will confine its primary focus to the first set of problems, since many of the salient ethical issues about cloning will arise, as it turns out, in connection with embryonic stem cell research.The purpose of the following discussion is to clarify some relevant moral and conceptual distinctions connected with these core questions, and to clarify the basic structure of the major views and argument themes that have been developed by philosophers, bioethicists and theologians in response to these questions.

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