Embryos, Individuals, and Persons: An Argument Against Embryo Creation and Research
Tollefsen (Christopher)
Source: Journal of Applied Philosophy; Apr2001, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p65, 14p
Paper - Abstract

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Author's Abstract

  1. One strategy for arguing that it should be legally permissible to create human embryos1, or to use spare human embryos2, for scientific research purposes involves the claim that such embryos3 cannot be persons4 because they are not human individuals while twinning5 may yet take place. Being a human individual is considered to be by most people a necessary condition for being a human person.
  2. I argue first that such an argument against the personhood of embryos6 must be rationally conclusive if their destruction in public places, such as laboratories, is to be countenanced. I base this argument on a popular understanding of the role that the notion of privacy plays in abortion7 law.
  3. I then argue that such arguments against personhood are not rationally conclusive. The claim that the early embryos8 is not a human individual is not nearly as obvious as some assert.

Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. Argues against embryo9 creation and research.
  2. Essence of reproductive ethics;
  3. Description of a United States court case on abortion10 rights;
  4. Discussion on the public status of research involving human embryos11;
  5. Analysis of the findings and recommendations in the 'Report of the Human Embryo12 Research Panel,' sponsored by the National Institutes of Health;
  6. Problems concerning the relation between persons and individuals.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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