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One objection to embryonic stem (ES) research is that it 'cannibalizes' human beings, that is, kills some human beings to benefit others. I grant for argument's sake that the embryo is a person. Nonetheless, killing it may be justified. I show this through the Embryonic Stem Cell Lottery. Whether killing a person is justified depends on: (1) whether innocent people at risk of being killed for ES cell research also stand to benefit from the research and (2) whether their overall chances of living are higher in a world in which killing and ES cell research is conducted. I call this kind of killing 'risk reductive.'

Type

Journal article

Journal

Bioethics

Publication Date

11/2002

Volume

16

Pages

508 - 529

Keywords

Analytical Approach, Biomedical and Behavioral Research, Genetics and Reproduction, Philosophical Approach, Cannibalism, Cloning, Organism, Craniotomy, Embryo Research, Embryo, Mammalian, Ethical Analysis, Female, Fetus, Homicide, Humans, Personhood, Pregnancy, Pregnancy Reduction, Multifetal, Reproductive Techniques, Assisted, Research Embryo Creation, Risk Assessment, Social Justice, Stem Cells, Twins, Conjoined, Value of Life