Potentiality Arguments and the Definition of “Human Organism”

American Journal of Bioethics 13 (1):33-34 (2013)
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Bettina Schöne-Seifert and Marco Stier present a host of detailed and intriguing arguments to the effect that potentiality arguments have to be viewed as outdated due to developments in stem cell research, in particular the possibility of re-setting the development potential of differentiated cells, such as skin cells. However, their argument leaves them without an explanation of the intuitive difference between skin cells and human beings, which seems to be based on the assumption that a skin cell is merely part of a human organism, while an embryo is at some point a human organism. An appropriately designed concept of the human organism can explain the difference, but also has the potential of re-dividing the argumentative landscape along familiar lines.
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Archival date: 2013-04-19
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