THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORAL STATUS AND MORAL VALUE APPLIED TO THE ETHICAL EVALUATION OF THE USE OF HIPS CELLS

TitleTHE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MORAL STATUS AND MORAL VALUE APPLIED TO THE ETHICAL EVALUATION OF THE USE OF HIPS CELLS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsCasanova, G, GÓMez-Tatay, LÍA, Aznar, J
JournalEthics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics
Volume32
Issue3
Pagination163-169
Date PublishedFall2016
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0266688X
KeywordsBiological , BIOTECHNOLOGY , ethics , HiPS , INDUCED , Medical , Moral , research
AbstractIn 2009 two studies were published in which living mice were obtained from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from mouse fibroblasts. The technique employed was tetraploid complementation. It consists in the production of a tetraploid cell by fusing the two cells of a two-cell embryo and its injection with iPS cells at the morula/blastocyst stage. Then, the tetraploid embryo activates the reprogramming process and the iPS pluripotent cells become totipotent cells, able to develop in the same way as embryonic cells do. This fact has raised ethical concerns about the use of hiPS cells for biomedical purposes. Some authors have considered hiPS cells as a kind of primordial individual human life. If so, they would have a moral status equal to that of human zygote and would deserve the same respect. In this paper we argue against this idea on the basis of the distinction between moral status and moral value. Moral status is inherent to the nature of the organism and will accompany it until it is denatured and stops being what it is. Moral value is relative; it suits to adjective realities, not to substantive ones. For this reason the human zygote has a certain moral status, while hiPS cells have a moral value. However, cells resulting from the injection of hiPS cells into tetraploid embryos are worthy of the same respect due to the embryo resulting from fertilization, since they can develop as a human individual. Thus, these cells have a biotechnologically induced moral status. 
NotesCASANOVA, GLORIA 1 GÓMEZ-TATAY, LUCÍA 2 AZNAR, JUSTO 3; Email Address: justo.aznar@ucv.es; Affiliation: 1: Member, Bioethics Observatory and Professor of Bioethics, Catholic University of Valencia 2: Member, Molecular and Mitochondrial Unit and Bioethics Observatory, Catholic University of Valencia 3: Director of the Institute of Life Sciences, Catholic University of Valencia, "San Vicente Mártir"; Source Info: Fall2016, Vol. 32 Issue 3, p163; Subject Term: RESEARCH; Subject Term: Ethics -- Research; Subject Term: Biological research; Subject Term: Biotechnology -- Research; Subject Term: Induced pluripotent stem cells; Subject Term: Medical ethics; Author-Supplied Keyword: HiPS cells; Author-Supplied Keyword: Moral status; Author-Supplied Keyword: Moral value; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences; NAICS/Industry Codes: 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); NAICS/Industry Codes: 541711 Research and Development in Biotechnology; Number of Pages: 7p; Document Type: Article

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