The term ‘human embryo’ is variously defined within the European legislations, both at national and supranational levels.
In particular, the European legislation varies with respect to the ‘personhood’ of the human embryo and with respect to the answer to the question of when human life begins.
Anyway, the legislations and the literature argue that a specific moral status has to be recognised for a human embryo.
Because of the special status of the human embryo, rules to protect it are provided by the legal sources.
Despite the differences in European legislation, some common principles are applicable to activities involving human embryos, especially in the fields of medicine and research.
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