Philosophy of Education Research Colloquia

Fall 2008

FUNDAMENTAL AND COLLATERAL CONTROVERSIES CONCERNING EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH
Louis M. Guenin, J.D. (November 11, 2008)

Presented by the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education and the Department of Philosophy

Issues surrounding the use of embryonic cells for research have sparked heated conversation in fields from the medical to the political, in laboratories and family rooms alike. Louis Guenin explored some of these questions as part of the ongoing PERC series. In particular, he addressed the fundamental question of whether to sacrifice embryos in biomedical research and suggest whether it may be answered by defining a set of embryos whose progenitors have permissibly barred them from the womb. The developmental potential of such embryos is decisively bounded.  He also posited responses to secondary moral questions, including whether to compensate women who contribute eggs to research, and whether to form chimeras in research that may exhibit some humanlike properties.

Louis M. Guenin, J.D. (Harvard University) is a lecturer on Ethics in Science in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He is also the author of The Morality of Embryo Use (Cambridge University Press, 2008).