Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research Essay

Thus, this issue touches on existential questions such as: There is a debate on when exactly life begins in embryonic development and when the individual receives moral status.For example, some may ascribe life starting from the moment of fertilization, others may do so after implantation or the beginning of organ function.

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We should not justify this evil even if it achieves good.

Under the deontological approach, “whether a situation is good or bad depends on whether the action that brought it about was right or wrong,” hence the ends do not justify the means.

Proponents argue that a human embryo lacks these criteria, thereby is not considered a person and thus, does not have life and cannot have a moral status.

Supporters of stem cell research believe a fertilized egg is just a part of another person’s body until the cell mass can survive on its own as a viable human.

However, since the “zygote is genetically identical to the embryo,” which is also genetically identical to the fetus, and, by extension, identical to the baby, inquiring the beginning of personhood can lead to an occurrence of the Sorites paradox, also acknowledged as “the paradox of the heap.” The paradox of the heap arises from vague predicates in philosophy.

If there is a heap of sand and a grain is taken away from that heap one by one, at what point will it no longer be considered a heap – what classifies it as a heap? When, in the development of a human being, is an embryo considered a person with moral standing?

Based on this reductionist view of life and personhood, utilitarian advocates argue that the result of the destruction of human embryos to harvest stem cells does not extinguish a life.

Further, scientists state that any harm done is outweighed by the potential alleviation of the suffering enduring by tremendous numbers of people with varying diseases.

However, those that are against embryonic stem cell research believe that the possibility of scientific benefits of research do not outweigh the immoral action of tampering with the natural progression of a fetal development and interfering with the human embryo’s right to live.

In light of these two opposing views, should embryonic stem cells be used in research?


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