Embryonic stem cell research: the principal ethical issue-when does life begin?

Bagaric, Mirko and McConvill, James 2003, Embryonic stem cell research: the principal ethical issue-when does life begin?, Nottingham law journal, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-19.

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Title Embryonic stem cell research: the principal ethical issue-when does life begin?
Author(s) Bagaric, Mirko
McConvill, James
Journal name Nottingham law journal
Volume number 12
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 19
Publisher Nottingham Trent University. Nottingham Law School
Place of publication Nottingham, England
Publication date 2003
ISSN 0965-0660
Summary Embryonic stem cell research is perhaps the most controversial ethical issue of the new century. This is not surprising. It promises unprecedented potential benefits to human health but arguably comes at the expense of violating the most fundamental moral virtue - the right to life. The debate has become increasingly emotive. The Catholic Church has labelled stem cell research as cannibalism.1 This has led perhaps the world's most famous moral philosopher, Peter Singer, to label the Church, which has over a billion followers, as irrelevant.2 The principal purpose of this paper is not to  discuss all of the relevant moral issues in the embryonic stem cell debate. Considerations of space do not permit this and in any event there are  numerous reports which catalogue the relevant issues.3 Rather we attempt  to identify the crux of the issues in the debate. In our view, the main issue is the point at which life commences. We offer some preliminary observations on this matter. This discussion appears in section four. In the next section, we provide a brief  overview of nature and potential benefits of stem cell  research. This is followed by a discussion of the current legal position. In the final section, we offer some concluding remarks including some  suggestions for law reform.

Language eng
Field of Research 220105 Legal Ethics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30002066

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Law
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