HGM2002 Poster Abstracts: 10. Ethics: Genomic and Stem Cell Research - Social-Cultural Economic and Religous Perspectives
POSTER NO: 529
Ethical Issues in Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Renzong Qiu, Xiaomei Zhai, Huiqun Du, Yiman Zhou
The authors of this paper argue that in order to clear up the conceptual ambiguity in non-professional intellectuals, mass media, politicians and the public, the first thing that should be done is to unambiguously distinguish between human therapeutic cloning and human reproductive cloning. Human reproductive cloning should be rejected on the basis of non-maleficence and respect arguments, but human therapeutic cloning can be ethically justified on the beneficence argument. However, the ethical acceptability of human embryonic stem cell research depends on the view on moral status of human embryo. From Chinese perspective, human embryo does not have same moral status with a person, but it also should not be treated simply as a piece of flesh as human placenta. Rather, human embryo is a form of human life, biological but not personal. Deriving stem cells from aborted fetus or spare embryo after the success of in vitro fertilization which would have been abandoned seems uncontroversial though, but it is still an arguable issue on whether human embryo should be created deliberately by in vitro fertilization and nuclear transfer of a human somatic cell for the purpose of obtaining stem cells. And finally, whether a chimera at cell or DNA level should be created or not is also a hot issue in China which will be analysed in this paper.
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