Are Stem Cells Babies?

Only if every other human cell is, too.

(Page 2 of 2)

"If all our cells could be persons, then we cannot appeal to the fact that an embryo could be a person to justify the special treatment we give it," concludes Savulescu.

The DNA content of a skin cell, a stem cell, and a fertilized egg are exactly the same. The difference between what they are and what they could become is the environment in which their DNA is found. Thus, the mere existence of human DNA in a cell cannot be the source of a relevant moral difference. The differences among these cells are a result of how the genes in each are expressed, and that expression depends largely on which proteins suppress or promote which genes.

So people who oppose stem cell research must logically be committed to the notion that the only difference between your skin cell and your twin are the proteins that decorate their DNA strands. But can moral relevance really be reduced to the presence or absence of certain proteins in a cell?

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