• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What are the ethical issues involved as a result of using biotechnology in cases of infertility ?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What are the ethical issues involved as a result of using biotechnology in cases of infertility Biotechnological methods producing human embryos have been evolving since 1978 where the first test-tube baby was born. This involves the fusion of gametes outside the human body and is a technique known as In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF). Of course, this method is worth considering in cases of infertility but this also brings up many implications and issues to discuss. There is no problem with fertilization but the difficulty crops up with embryo transfer where the 4/5 embryos are transferred to the mother's womb hoping that one of them will implant itself in the women's uterine lining and develop into a baby. The chances of getting pregnant are very remote and so it became standard that more ova than required are extracted, all of which are fertilized. Only 4/5 embryos are used for implantation. The others are put aside, frozen in nitrogen baths, for later use. ...read more.

Middle

Hence, at fertilization it is the development of a potential person rather than m person with potential. Hence, at fertilization it is the development of a potential person which starts and not the development of a person with potential. The ethical implication of this is that although embryos are recognized to be human beings, are not considered to be human persons and as only persons have rights, they can be used for research or destroyed. This was the reasoning adopted by Mary Warnock who wrote a report regarding the introduction of new methods of reproduction in the UK. One particular recommendation of the report stated that embryos must, before they are 14 days old, be used for implantation, research, frozen or destroyed. In other words they cannot be kept alive beyond 14 days. After fertilization a process of cell division starts where the fertilized cell begins to divide until it becomes a ball of cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

This stands in stark contrast with the philosophical reasoning in utilitarianism. Utilitarians do not consider the individual human being to be of paramount value. According to them, what really matters is 'the greatest good for the greatest number'. Therefore this implies that if the results obtained from embryo research can give happiness to those who are infertile or have genetic defect, then research on embryos is ethically correct. Using the 'utility principle' the pre-embryo may be harmed or destroyed for the benefit of others. It need not be respected or treated as an end itself. The human embryo is a human being and the respect due to it must not be different from the respect due to other human beings. It has the right of life and therefore must not be killed or exploited for any purpose whatsoever. Only Kantian ethics guarantees the defense of the dignity of the human embryo from the moment of conception. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Practical Questions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Practical Questions essays

  1. Ethical Issues Involved In The Legislation of Euthanasia?

    If we look at the case of Mary Ormerod who was an 85 year old lady being kept alive by feeding her through a syringe following a series of strokes. She had no ability to communicate. Her children and her doctor took a decision not to feed her and so she starved to death.

  2. Modern life-prolonging technologies have sharpened some ancient dilemmas on the value of life.

    SL proponents may value life qua life above the higher development and expression of that life, but need not. This may seem a caricature of a moral theory, but the position is easily misunderstood. SL proponents may cherish all higher developments of life, such as consciousness, self-consciousness, intelligence, friendship, community, the sense of self-worth, and capacity for autonomous decision.

  1. The Conjoined Twins Jodie and Mary

    This case is strikingly similar to one of someone wishing to perform voluntary euthanasia, so why should this operation of practical murder be allowed to take place? The only difference between euthanasia and this case is that if the operation is to go ahead, it is without the consent of the person being killed - Mary.

  2. The Ethical Debate Concerning Cloning.

    And if genes are linked to identity, does the child lose the possibility of being truly unique? James Q. Wilson's article "The Paradox of Cloning" discusses many of the issues brought to light by Kass. However, Wilson believes that a total ban on cloning would be hasty.

  1. Contemporary Ethical Issues In Marketing.

    Claimed that Reliant had saved money in the design of the car's steering system and that Relaints ran a greater risk of being involved in accidents. Similarly, organisation objectives that call for increased profits or market share may pressure marketers to 'steel competitors secrets, knowingly put an unsafe product on the market, or some other questionable activity.

  2. Is Christ a Kantian?

    How would I ever know how am I to live today i.e. to listen to music or to spend the day helping in an old folk's home? Who can give me the exact number of times I should practice virtue for this week?

  1. Explain different ethical approaches to issues of war and peace.

    The Just War Theory was fully developed by St Aquinas, who established two sets of criteria for war: Jus ad bellum, "right to wage war? of which are rules that must be consulted before partaking in war so that it may be determined whether entering a war is just and

  2. Describe the religious and ethical issues raised by human surrogacy.

    has the possibility to cause pain, heartache, and confusion.? Certain methods of surrogacy could encourage adultery within the marriage if they use donor gametes. Does this constitute a violation of the marriage bond? Some see it as breaking the 'one flesh' principle of Genesis 2:24 by introducing a third party into the marriage.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work