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May 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-4


Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Morally Wrong


Section VI - Summary



In summary, we have seen the weaknesses in Werner’s argument and the strengths of the arguments to the contrary. Also offered are arguments supporting the substance view of persons.  To the weaknesses, the fact that ESCR treats humans simply as means and not as ends in themselves is morally repugnant. Werner admits his view of personhood excludes protection of the life of embryos, the mentally retarded, infants, and people acting irrationally. However, as one can see, his criteria goes too far because it also extends to people sleeping and in reversible comas. On the other hand, due to the strengths of the substance view, it is reasonable to believe the embryo ought to have the same moral right to life as adult human beings. ECSR violates this right because this research destroys the embryo. Additionally, the embryo is a person in the earliest stages of development and does not differ in any essential way from other persons. Werner’s argument cannot get started because one finds that every argument required for its validity is flawed. Thus, one should reject Werner’s view of ESCR because his arguments are fallacious, because of its morally repugnant nature, and because of the superiority of the substance view of persons.




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