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Inspirations from Potential: Does Human Embryo in vitro Possess Full Moral Status?
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics. Linköping University.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The paper deals with the problem of the moral status of human embryos in vitro obtained via somatic cell nuclear transfer, in vitro fertilization and similar biotechnologies. The purpose of research is to investigate whether it is possible to ascribe the position of full moral status to the embryo in vitro relying on its intrinsic properties. In particular, the property of totipotency of a human zygote was taken as presupposition in carrying out further moral assessments. To achieve these goals I have examined the applicability of the potentiality argument for evaluating moral status of the embryo within the frameworks of modal logic. The potential of the human embryo to become a person with full-fledged number of moral rights was interpreted using real, dispositional and counterfactual predicates. It was found that the role of potentiality argument is reduced to a precautionary principle and it failed to provide full moral status to the embryo in vitro. The potential of the embryo proper has a strong relational component that assigns it certain instrumental value. The latter implies that biomedical experimentation with the embryos in vitro cannot be considered as morally unacceptable.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
Moral status, embryo in vitro, potentiality argument, personhood, modal properties.
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-57542ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--10/01--SEOAI: diva2:326440
2010-06-18, KVA room, Key, LiU, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-06-23 Created: 2010-06-22 Last updated: 2010-06-23Bibliographically approved

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Artemenko, Oleg
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Centre for Applied EthicsLinköping University

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