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Document Details :

Title: Stem Cell Research
Subtitle: A Theological Interpretation
Author(s): HANSEN, Bart , SCHOTSMANS, Paul
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 80    Issue: 4   Date: December 2004   
Pages: 339-372
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.80.4.542102

Abstract :
The current article is structured as follows: first questions about the use of human embryos and human embryonic stem cells in the context of state-of-the-art research will be addressed. Secondly, we will offer a short overview of the most recent opinions from National Ethics Committees or similar bodies, public debate and national legislation in relation to human stem cell research. Thirdly, we will evaluate stem cell research by means of two ethical methods: the clinical-ethical approach and the cultural philosophical one. The former will concentrate on problems discussed in Medical Ethics Committees, whereas the latter will focus on a specific cultural theme, i.e. playing God. Finally, we will reflect on the Christian theological tradition and try to indicate how ethical discourse on biotechnological issues is informed and shaped by specifically theological themes. To some, it seems that humankind usurped the Divine Creators place and, by doing this, crossed a border. To others, this medical breakthrough is in line with previous technological innovations in medicine. Our stand is essentially close to this more open and optimistic perspective: the human being as a created co-creator is in our opinion not standing up against God, but he is taking full responsibility in realizing Gods intention.

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