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An Act-Utilitarian View on Somatic Cell Gene Therapy

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An Act-Utilitarian View on Somatic Cell Gene Therapy

Opponents of somatic cell gene therapy argue that these procedures are morally wrong since they involve the destruction of human life. Such arguments rest on a one-criteria approach to moral status, which states that only when life exists does it possess full moral standing; consequently, destruction of human embryos in ES cell research would diminish this status.

The moral status of life is an issue that must be addressed by ethicists. This issue affects both humans and animals alike, necessitating ethical reflection on this vital matter.

In this article, we will consider how an act-utilitarian view of ethics can provide us with a framework to evaluate somatic cell gene therapy. We will evaluate this approach in light of several principles:

First, it is essential to recognize that an act is morally permissible if it can be justified by social utility. This is fundamentally the utilitarian philosophy.

It is essential to recognize that social utility isn’t the only justification for an action. Other moral considerations, such as justice and respect for persons, can also come into play when justifying a decision.

Thus, we must weigh both the social benefit of an act and any potential harms it could cause.

A commonly held utilitarian principle states that the greater someone’s suffering, the more suffering they will endure in the future. Conversely, if we alleviate someone’s pain through an action, then there will be less future suffering caused by that same action.

If we cannot reconcile these opposing interests, then the proposed action must be abandoned. This is an exercise in moral deliberation that must be undertaken.

Opponents of somatic cell gene therapy typically assert that it infringes upon the right to life of embryos. This assertion is unsupported and fails to recognize that an embryo’s life deserves full moral status.

Instead, it demonstrates a belief in the symbolic worth of human life. This idea often draws inspiration from natural disasters where saving all lives is impossible, or emergency situations where an individual cannot be saved despite our best efforts.

Therefore, these objections do not seem to apply in the case of somatic cell gene therapy. We must therefore apply a completely different set of ethical principles to ES cell research – one with much higher standards.

Berry delves into the moral complexities surrounding genetic advances and shows how virtue-based ethics can provide clarity and wisdom when faced with complex moral choices. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in this topic, providing a solid basis for debate.

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