Embryonic death and the creation of human embryonic stem cells

J Clin Invest. 2004 Nov;114(9):1184-6. doi: 10.1172/JCI23065.


The creation of human embryonic stem cells through the destruction of a human embryo pits the value of a potential therapeutic tool against that of an early human life. This contest of values has resulted in a polarized debate that neglects areas of common interest and perspective. We suggest that a common ground for pursuing research on human embryonic stem cells can be found by reconsidering the death of the human embryo and by applying to this research the ethical norms of essential organ donation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Beginning of Human Life
  • Bioethics
  • Cloning, Organism
  • Death
  • Embryo Research
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / physiology*
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Research
  • Research Embryo Creation
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement