, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 195-203
Date: 13 Mar 2012

Stem Cell Research on Embryonic Persons Is Just

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Abstract

I argue that embryonic stem cell research is fair to the embryo, even on the assumption that the embryo has attained full personhood and an attendant right to life at conception. This is because the only feasible alternatives open to the embryo are to exist briefly in an unconscious state and be killed or to not exist at all. Hence, one is neither depriving the embryo of an enduring life it would otherwise have had nor is one causing the embryo pain. I also argue that a rational agent in a situation relevantly similar to that of the embryo would consent to such research, and I use this insight to ground two justice-based arguments in favor of this research.