Ontological and Ethical Implications of Direct Nuclear Reprogramming: Response to Magill and Neaves

Published Date: March 11, 2009 | Topics: Philosophy, Reviews and Commentaries

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[This article was co-authored by Maureen L. CondicPatrick Lee, and Robert P. George.]

The paper by Magill and Neaves in this issue of the Journal attempts to rebut the “natural potency” position, based on recent advances in direct reprogramming of somatic cells to yield “induced pluripotent stem” (iPS) cells. As stated by the authors, the natural potency position holds that because “a human embryo directs its own integral organismic function from its beginning . . . there is a whole, albeit immature, and distinct human organism that is intrinsically valuable with the status of inviolability and deserving full moral respect” (p. 26). The authors boldly assert that “The recent production of iPS . . . highlights a prima facie absurdity for the natural potentiality argument” (p. 29). Yet the argument against natural potency is both logically flawed and based on a characterization of the scientific evidence that is factually inaccurate.

Continue reading in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal.

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Fundamentalists? We?

Published Date: October 3, 2006 | Topics: Philosophy, Religion, Reviews and Commentaries

Bad science, worse philosophy, and McCarthyite tactics in the human-embyro debate. [This article was co-authored by Patrick Lee and Robert P. George.] We have in many places argued for the humanity and fundamental dignity of human beings in the embryonic stage of development and all later stages. In defending embryonic human life, we have pointed […]

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Religious Values and Politics

Published Date: January 1, 1999 | Topics: Politics and Current Affairs, Religion

Read this book chapter in Religious Values at the Threshold of the Third Millennium.

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