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How to depolarise the ethical debate over human embryonic stem cell research (and other ethical debates too!)
  1. Nicolas Espinoza1,
  2. Martin Peterson2
  1. 1Centre for Healthcare Ethics, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2School of Innovation Sciences, Section for Philosophy and Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Martin Peterson, School of Innovation Sciences, Section for Philosophy and Ethics, Eindhoven University of Technology, Den Dolech 2, Eindhoven 5211 MB, The Netherlands; m.peterson{at}tue.nl

The contention of this paper is that the current ethical debate over embryonic stem cell research is polarised to an extent that is not warranted by the underlying ethical conflict. It is argued that the ethical debate can be rendered more nuanced, and less polarised, by introducing non-binary notions of moral rightness and wrongness. According to the view proposed, embryonic stem cell research—and possibly other controversial activities too—can be considered ‘a little bit right and a little bit wrong’. If this idea were to become widely accepted, the ethical debate would, for conceptual reasons, become less polarised.

  • Stem cell
  • polarisation
  • degree of rightness
  • lottery paradox
  • moral dilemma
  • stem cell research
  • rights
  • enhancement
  • cloning
  • abortion
  • concept of health
  • philosophical ethics
  • allocation of organs/tissues

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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