The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Hardcover | February 19, 2015

byKatrien Devolder

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Embryonic stem cell research holds unique promise for developing therapies for currently incurable diseases and conditions, and for important biomedical research. However, the process through which embryonic stem cells are obtained involves the destruction of early human embryos. KatrienDevolder focuses on the tension between the popular view that an embryo should never be deliberately harmed or destroyed, and the view that embryonic stem cell research, because of its enormous promise, must go forward. She provides an in-depth ethical analysis of the major philosophical andpolitical attempts to resolve this tension. One such attempt involves the development of a middle ground position, which accepts only types or aspects of embryonic stem cell research deemed compatible with the view that the embryo has a significant moral status. An example is the position that itcan be permissible to derive stem cells from embryos left over from in vitro fertilisation but not from embryos created for research. Others have advocated a technical solution. Several techniques have been proposed for deriving embryonic stem cells, or their functional equivalents, without harming embryos. An example is the induced pluripotent stem cell technique. Through highlighting inconsistencies in the arguments for these positions, Devolder argues that the centraltension in the embryonic stem cell debate remains unresolved. This conclusion has important implications for the stem cell debate, as well as for policies inspired by this debate.

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Embryonic stem cell research holds unique promise for developing therapies for currently incurable diseases and conditions, and for important biomedical research. However, the process through which embryonic stem cells are obtained involves the destruction of early human embryos. KatrienDevolder focuses on the tension between the popul...

Katrien Devolder obtained a PhD in Philosophy at Ghent University in 2006, after which she was awarded a six-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship by the Research Foundation Flanders. She conducted her postdoctoral work at the Bioethics Institute Ghent, Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, at Ghent University, as well as during...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:February 19, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199547998

ISBN - 13:9780199547999

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research2. The Discarded-Created Distinction3. The Use-Derivation Distinction4. Technical Solutions5. Compromise and ConsistencyBibliographyIndex