Thursday, January 26, 2017
Stem Cell Research and Ethical Theories
This will probably overshoot 250 words, but I just wanted to run the stem cell debate past some of the ethical theories we talked about in chapter 2.
This one is a pretty slippery slope. Kant wants us to treat ever person as an end, not a means to an end; however, when we're talking about embryonic stem cells, the discussion becomes: when does one obtain "personhood." Depending on your opinion (which Kant would want you to be very honest about), it may be a hard pass- Kant would never want you to destroy a life for the potential benefit of another.
Far and away the most enigmatic ethical theory, in my opinion, virtue ethics would have us ask "how should I be?" The implications of this are numerous and seem to naturally mingle with the same issues that Kantian Deontology brought forth. What is more conducive to building moral character- to strive to advance medical science? Would it necessitate the sacrifice of innocent lives and, if so, would it be worth it? I'm not approaching this for an answer. The vague nature of (my understanding of) virtue ethics lends itself to a cycle of perpetual reflection more so than the other theories we've covered, and for that, it may be my favorite.
Word count: 287