The Ethics Of Embryonic Stem Cells

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The society is not at an agreeable point when it comes to the research of stem cells obtained from human embryos. The disagreement narrows down to a clash between the two fundamental principles of ethics: The duty to prevent and alleviate suffering, and the duty to respect the value of human life. In most situations, both principles can be satisfied. However, in the research of embryonic stem cells, it might not be inherently possible.
Generally, the clash between the two principles is not created by a violation of the duty to prevent or alleviate suffering. In fact, it is the prime purpose of the research. On the other hand, depending on the consideration of the statues of the embryo, the research might violate the duty to respect the value of life. If the embryo is considered a person, its research would be a violation to human life; if the embryo is not considered a person, there would be no violation to human life. Such consideration of the human embryo is the factor responsible for the clash.
What do the statues of the embryo and the ethical principle of life have to do with the research of embryonic stem cells? Well, in order to perform a research, a new line of stem cells has to be developed. When the cells are extracted from the blastocyst, the embryo is destroyed since it cannot persist without its inner cells. If the embryo is considered a person, we are then killing a person, as well as violating the ethical principle of respecting the value of life.

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