American Journal of Bioethics.

Rescuing Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: The Blastocyst Transfer Method

Despite the therapeutic potential of human embryonic stem (HES) cells, many people believe that HES cell research should be banned. The reason is that the present method of extracting HES cells involves the destruction of the embryo, which for many is the beginning of a person. This paper examines a number of compromise solutions such as parthenogenesis, the use of defective embryos, genetically creating a ?pseudo embryo? that can never form a placenta, and determining embryo death, and argues that none of these proposals are likely to satisfy embryoists, that is, those who regard the embryo as a person. This paper then proposes a method of extracting HES cells, what might be called the Blastocyst Transfer Method, that meets the ethical requirements of embryoists, and it considers some possible concerns regarding this method. It concludes by encouraging future HES cell research to investigate this method.

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Volume 5, Issue 6
November 2005