Therapeutic Reproduction and Human Dignity


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My presentation for F. Sorrow's Therapeutic Reproduction and Human Dignity piece at The Human Body and the Market class at CEU, March 2013

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Therapeutic Reproduction and Human Dignity

  1. 1. THERAPEUTIC REPRODUCTIONAND HUMAN DIGNITY, F. SORROW The Human Body and the Market Shushan Harutyunyan CEU, 2013
  2. 2. ADVANCES OF BIOTECHNOLOGY?! What we think about the intersection of reproduction-assisting technologies and the crisis in human organ donation? What’s the line between ethically permissible and ethically impermissible uses of reproductive technology?` How we think of dichotomies between “reproductive” and “therapy”? What about the “family” VS “state” that permit the distinctions of what is good and what is bad about reproductive technology?
  3. 3. WHO WE ARE AS INDIVIDUALS AND WHO WE ARE AS SPECIES? “Savior sibling” as an act of love and  Reproductive cloning as an affront to responsible parenting (assumptions about human dignity (human clones luck in parental motives and devotion questionable) connection to two genetic parents )
  4. 4. Pro’s Concerns If parents have the authority to “volunteer”  Creating a child to donate non-generating an existing child as a bone morrow donor organs is unacceptable “in view of the risks for a sibling, it is also acceptable that they involved for the donor child”. create a child as a bone morrow for a sibling”.  Savior siblings would not enjoy “full respect for their personal uniqueness and dignity”. Psychological benefits the donor receives  “We should be reluctant to see ourselves as from helping the sick sibling, benefits that people who may appropriately dictate such a crustal part of the identity of our child (least range from contributing to the family we turn human reproduction) into a form of stability and survival to the boost in self- manufacture and open the door to a new esteem gained from having a power to heal eugenics. that other luck.  We should consider whether assigning the role of savor to a child as a condition for its existence is an appropriate exercise of human reproduction potential.
  5. 5. THE HUMAN DIGNITY AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES (CLONING) Problems with Cloning and Embryonic Stem Cells (The justification put forward for destructive/experimental cloning is that by destroying cloned embryos we will obtain embryonic stem cells for use in treating those with conditions such as Parkinsons). Our Life-Affirming Position (We welcome the development of ethically acceptable treatments for conditions such as Parkinson’s, and are greatly encouraged by research on adult stem cells, which can be extracted without killing anyone, have already produced successful treatments for a range of conditions, and have none of the potential tumour-forming problems that are inherent to embryonic stem cells). The Law on Cloning (Therapeutic cloning is governed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. The Act was amended by Parliament in January 2001 to include cloning research. In the UK, researchers are allowed to use eggs left over from IVF treatment programmes to create cloned human embryos for embryonic stem cell research. They do this using reproductive cloning techniques. The UK permits this provided the embryo is not allowed to develop for longer than 14 days.
  6. 6. HUMAN DIGNITY IN SCIENCE / POLICY DEBATES “Practices which are contrary to human dignity, such as reproductive cloning of human beings, shall not be permitted. States and competent international organizations are invited to co-operate in identifying such practices and in taking, at national or international level, the measures necessary to ensure that the principles set out in this Declaration are respected.” Human Dignity, UNESCO Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights which state in article 11 BUT Dignity of the Individual or of Society?! It is frequently argued, for instance, that reproduction should occur by chance and through natural selection. This argument may be based upon religious lines, which defer to a supernatural or higher power for choice, or to natural selection and the importance of ensuring continued human diversity. More convincing for some are arguments against the commoditisation of life.
  7. 7. THE VIRTUE OF BEING HUMAN? HUMAN DIGNITY IN POLICY DEBATES Human dignity becomes more questionable when it is used as a form of general condemnation for two principal reasons: one concerning regulatory effectiveness and the other regulatory legitimacy. The most modern societies are pluralistic, and accordingly, consensus is difficult to obtain, whether about human dignity or other complex social and ethical issues introduced by scientific innovations. There is not even agreement about the foundation of human dignity- whether it is faith-based or secular- let alone what human dignity entails. Concerns about the uses for dignity are magnified when dignity is used as the justification for a State’s use of its coercive criminal law powers to prohibit particular avenues of scientific inquiry. This is the most extreme collision between the autonomy of individuals engaged in scientific inquiry, either as researchers or participants and freedom from the coercive power of the state based on a constraining vision of human dignity.
  8. 8. SO HOW WE GOING TO LIVE WITH “THIS”? Rethinking human?! Get use to?! Reframing the bodily self not to be the actual reference for identifying the present time?? Rethinking of what we exactly count as life?!
  9. 9. SOURCES Human Rights and Human Dignity An Appeal to Separate theConjoined Twins, Schroeder, 2012 Human Dignity: In danger of Banality? (The case ofcloning), Knoppers, Bartha- Maria 287aa012183c%40sessionmgr11&vid=2&hid=116 When Human Dignity is not Enough: Embryonic Stem CellResearch and Human Cloning in Canada - Tania Bubela and Timothy Caulfield; UBCPress Section 2 (Ethics and Cloning, Human dignity) at “Is HumanReproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance” Report, ChamundeeswariKuppuswamy, Darryl Macer, Mihaela Serbulea and Brendan Tobin, 2007 Human Dignity and Human Rights as a Common Ground for aGlobal Bioethics, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, 2009 d_for_a_Global_Bioethics Human Cloning and Human Dignity: The Report of thePresidents Council on Bioethics bb793ecf8929%40sessionmgr11&vid=1&hid=15&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=edsjag&AN=edsja g.10.2307.3528433 Human cloning: Category, dignity, and the role ofbioethics, Shuster bae587d70dcb%40sessionmgr11&vid=2&hid=116
  10. 10. THANK YOU