October 2, 2006

Ongoing commentary on “Stem cell Wars: Inside Stories from the Frontlines”

by Eve Herold, Hardcover: 256 pages, Palgrave Macmillan, September 19, 2006
I do not find the arguments defending the rights of embryos compelling enough to warrant prohibitions or even signifcant restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Over the last decade I have found myself devoting countless hours to justifying stem cell biology, at the expense of progress in my own research. I rationalize these diversions because a scientist must also be an educator.

A scientist needs to be an ethicist before he can be an educator.
Opinion polls have reflected…the prevailing public sentiment…most people’s moral intuition…

Truth by headcount? What happened to science and ethical reflection?
It is hard to consider the early embryo a person if it is divisible, because individuality and uniqueness of spirit are intimately tied to our notions of personhood.

It seems that the problem for Daley is not whether the embryo is a person, but whether it is more than one person. How is the “special status” of the embryo in question if it is at least one person?

From the Foreword, pages xvi, xvii, by George Q. Daley

also posted at bioethics.com

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