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Shades of Gray Lesson 4 The Science and Ethics of Stem Cell Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Shades of Gray Lesson 4 The Science and Ethics of Stem Cell Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shades of Gray Lesson 4 The Science and Ethics of Stem Cell Research

2 Mitt Romney Ruben Diaz Who Are We? Selected Stakeholders Mary Tyler Moore Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff Anne Graham Lotz

3 Ann Coulter Michael J Fox Gamal Serour Pope Benedict XVI Leon Kass

4 Ronald M. Green Barb Edwards and family Alta Charo Orrin Hatch Christopher Reeve Swami B.V. Tripurari

5 John Kerry Judie Brown William Haseltine Alfred Mann David A. Prentice

6 Barak Obama Daniel Perry Nancy Reagan C. Ben Mitchell Photos not available: Heather Hanson Joanne C. Sizoo

7 Central Ethical Questions about the Moral Status of the Embryo How should we treat the embryo? What rights does it have? What responsibilities do we have towards it? How do we balance our attitudes towards the embryo with our responsibilities to help others? At what point in development does an embryo possess 'personhood' or moral worth? Based on what characteristics or capacities?

8 Conception - Catholicism (also Protestant denominations Lutheranism, Southern Baptism) - life is sacred from the moment of conception, no matter where it exists (i.e., Petri dish or fallopian tube). Embryo Implantation - Some scientists, theorists, theologians and others refer to the “pre-embryo” prior to uterine implantation, and regard implantation as morally significant. Primitive streak - At ~14 days when neural development begins, a sentient (possibly capable of feeling pain) and thus morally significant being exists. Moral Status of the Embryo Lines of Demarcation

9 Some Religious Viewpoints Presbyterian: approves SCR when the goals are compelling and unreachable by other means. Orthodox Judaism: An isolated fertilized egg does not enjoy the full status of personhood. Reform Judaism adds that it would be unethical to NOT pursue promising medical research.

10 Additional Religious Viewpoints Islam: After the blastocyst stage a human being exists; at 120 days ensoulment. Endorses regulated SCR as long as the potential for benefit is tangible. Mormon: Doctrine holds that each person lived as a spirit child of God prior to being born and receiving a physical body on Earth; life on earth begins when the spirit and body are united.

11 Note to Teachers …about the next slide If your students are having a difficult time understanding the U.S. political spectrum and are not familiar with words like “conservative” and “liberal”, the next slide (though overly simplified) may be helpful. For students who have some familiarity with the political vocabulary, however, it is NOT recommended that they be instructed in the terminology before the Four Corners Activity. Students often work out amongst themselves the meaning of the words, and have a better appreciation for the complexity involved. Though a useful tool in some cases, the slide serves to further stereotype stakeholder positions. The object of this lesson is to reinforce the idea that there are many ‘shades of gray’ in considering the perspectives on stem cell research.

12 A Simplified View of the American Political Spectrum TotalitarianAnarchy  fascistsocialist liberalconservative democratrepublican moderate

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