Abordando as questões éticas levantadas pelas entidades sintéticas humanas com características tipo embrião

quarta-feira, setembro 20, 2017

Addressing the ethical issues raised by synthetic human entities with embryo-like features

John Aach, Jeantine Lunshof Eswar Iyer George M Church

Harvard Medical School, United States University of Groningen, The Netherlands



The "14-day rule" for embryo research stipulates that experiments with intact human embryos must not allow them to develop beyond 14 days or the appearance of the primitive streak. However, recent experiments showing that suitably cultured human pluripotent stem cells can self-organize and recapitulate embryonic features have highlighted difficulties with the 14-day rule and led to calls for its reassessment. Here we argue that these and related experiments raise more foundational issues that cannot be fixed by adjusting the 14-day rule, because the framework underlying the rule cannot adequately describe the ways by which synthetic human entities with embryo-like features (SHEEFs) might develop morally concerning features through altered forms of development. We propose that limits on research with SHEEFs be based as directly as possible on the generation of such features, and recommend that the research and bioethics communities lead a wide-ranging inquiry aimed at mapping out solutions to the ethical problems raised by them.


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