Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Nancy L. Jones and William P. Cheshire, Jr., Can Artificial Techniques Supply Morally Neutral Human Embryos for Research?

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Nancy L. Jones and William P. Cheshire, Jr., Can Artificial Techniques Supply Morally Neutral Human Embryos for Research?

Article excerpt

Nancy L. Jones and William P. Cheshire, Jr., Can Artificial Techniques Supply Morally Neutral Human Embryos for Research? 21 ETHICS & MED. 29 (2005).

Manipulations of the molecular composition and formation of human embryos are posing vital new challenges to traditional concepts of human identity and procreation. Current trends in embryology in particular are reshaping the ethical question of how scientific research should treat experimentally derived embryos. Some investigators have argued that embryos created through artificial means are technologically novel entities that should be exempt from ethical restraints placed on research involving human embryos that come into being through natural processes. These include uni-parental embryos derived through cloning or parthenogenesis, as well as multi-parental, hybrid-parental, and xeno-hybrid-parental embryos.

If confined to natural means many of these genetic unions could not occur, but through the intervention of technology, it is becoming possible to design and grow strange and unusual forms of embryos, in some cases using human gametes. Regardless of the genetic contributors or the processes used to fertilize and stimulate egg activation, in each case the new embryo represents an individual organism that begins a process of development. …

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