Moral uncertainty in bioethical argumentation: a new understanding of the pro-life view on early human embryos

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (6):441-457 (2014)
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Abstract
In this article, I present a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. In my understanding, this position is based not on presumptions about the ontological status of embryos and their developmental capabilities but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This view, which uses the decision theory model of moral reasoning, promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the ontological status of embryos with the certainty about normative obligations. I will demonstrate that my interpretation of the pro-life view, although seeming to be stronger than the standard one, has limited scope and cannot be used to limit destructive research on human embryos.
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First archival date: 2015-11-21
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References found in this work BETA
The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning.Jonsen, Albert R. & Toulmin, Stephen
Running Risks Morally.Weatherson, Brian
Absolutist Moral Theories and Uncertainty.Jackson, Frank & Smith, Michael

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2014-09-17

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