Doctrine of double effect... Natural Moral Law Watch

cherrybanana
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Is it correct to say this?

A follower of natural moral law would allow the use of embryos for medical research (such as finding cures for diseases by using stem cells) because it reinforces the primary precept of "preserving life". Even though a follower of this ethical system may believe that an embryo is a human life, the doctrine of double effect means that it is allowed to use embryos in stem cell research. There is a negative side effect as the embryo doesnt become a person but the intention is to save many the life of a person who is suffering from a disease and hence, life is preserved.

Is this true? Or would the doctrine of double effect not allow for embryo/stem cell research?
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rosemondtan
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Ah, ethics of stem cell research. Classic topic of discussion. I really think this depends on the case. Instead of using embryonic stem cells, maybe pluripotent adult stem cells can be used so this minimises the philosophical arguments that can be built against it. However, this is harder, which is why science turns to embryonic stem cells because they're simply more convenient and can be kept for longer periods. Anyway, I'll continue to your point.

I suppose you could say that! However, there is a conflict there - using an embryo as a means to an end. Then again, there is the question of when "life" is considered to have started. Tbh, I think that people who follow Natural Moral Law believe that life starts from conception. Therefore, removing stem cells from a blastocyst at 4-5 days should be deemed unacceptable to them. You'd have to check that out, I'm not very sure myself
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cherrybanana
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(Original post by rosemondtan;[url="tel:65273617")
65273617[/url]]Ah, ethics of stem cell research. Classic topic of discussion. I really think this depends on the case. Instead of using embryonic stem cells, maybe pluripotent adult stem cells can be used so this minimises the philosophical arguments that can be built against it. However, this is harder, which is why science turns to embryonic stem cells because they're simply more convenient and can be kept for longer periods. Anyway, I'll continue to your point.

I suppose you could say that! However, there is a conflict there - using an embryo as a means to an end. Then again, there is the question of when "life" is considered to have started. Tbh, I think that people who follow Natural Moral Law believe that life starts from conception. Therefore, removing stem cells from a blastocyst at 4-5 days should be deemed unacceptable to them. You'd have to check that out, I'm not very sure myself
Thank youuuuu! Yes, I also thought that if they consider the embryo to be a human life then they would condemn its use in such research. But then I thought that the doctrine of double effect demonstrates that the death of this embryo to save hundreds of lives of sufferers of a disease is merely a negative side effect as the intention is to save lives and not prevent them
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rosemondtan
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(Original post by cherrybanana)
Thank youuuuu! Yes, I also thought that if they consider the embryo to be a human life then they would condemn its use in such research. But then I thought that the doctrine of double effect demonstrates that the death of this embryo to save hundreds of lives of sufferers of a disease is merely a negative side effect as the intention is to save lives and not prevent them
That is very true, but a word of caution: this argument collapses if embryos are cultivated in large batches in IVF clinics specifically and only for embryonic stem cell research, which is mostly the case these days. That's because in this case, human life is "intentionally created", if you get what I mean. Therefore, you'll have to assume that the embryo was "unwanted" and was a by-product. Then again, there are multiple philosophical arguments for and against it, it can't all be resolved. For instance, Kantian ethics is a key opposing argument to stem cell research, and I believe that within each philosophical argument for and against, there will be conflicts. Like your example of natural moral law: it's self conflicting because this topic has too many grey areas to be distilled down to clear arguments for and against. Nevertheless, thank you for posting such an interesting question! May I know what this is for? A homework assignment?
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cherrybanana
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(Original post by rosemondtan)
That is very true, but a word of caution: this argument collapses if embryos are cultivated in large batches in IVF clinics specifically and only for embryonic stem cell research, which is mostly the case these days. That's because in this case, human life is "intentionally created", if you get what I mean. Therefore, you'll have to assume that the embryo was "unwanted" and was a by-product. Then again, there are multiple philosophical arguments for and against it, it can't all be resolved. For instance, Kantian ethics is a key opposing argument to stem cell research, and I believe that within each philosophical argument for and against, there will be conflicts. Like your example of natural moral law: it's self conflicting because this topic has too many grey areas to be distilled down to clear arguments for and against. Nevertheless, thank you for posting such an interesting question! May I know what this is for? A homework assignment?
Thank youuuu for your reply - I totally agree with what you have said because the problem is that there are so many grey areas. I had this question because I'm studying Philosophy and Ethics A-Level and this has arisen in the Ethics part of my exam that I will have soon! Thanks again
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