Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

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.'


Journal article



Publication Date





508 - 529


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