Standards for the Evaluation of the Need and the Morality of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Robert Howard Kroepel

Copyright © 2002

New Durham, New Hampshire USA

All public laws and policies shall be subject to the following two standards:

1. The law/policy must provide more benefits than detriments to citizens.

2. The law/policy must not injure an innocent person.

A person shall be operationally defined to be an individual who is born and residing within a legal jurisdiction.

Thomas Jefferson once said thus: The essence of the law is that no man should injure another; all the rest is commentary.

An injury shall be operationally defined to be a detriment including but not limited to a loss of life, limb or property.

An innocent man is operationally defined to be a person who does not intend to injure another person who does not intend to injure him or any other innocent persons.

Rephrasing Jefferson's quote: The essence of the law is the no man should [be allowed to] injure another [innocent man]; all the rest [of the law] is commentary.

Thus, a public law or policy by Standard #1 must produce a benefit [with minimum detriments] but by Standard #2 no innocent citizen can be defined to be a criminal and to suffer therefore injuries to life, limb or property.

Note: ESC = Embryonic Stem Cell; ESCR = Embryonic Stem Cell Research; ASC = Adult Stem Cell; ASCR = Adult Stem Cell Research.

To protect and serve the disabled who want ESCR to continue in the hope that it will produce a cure/treatment for their disability ESCR should continue until we have the information that we need to determine ESCs and ESCR are no longer needed.

What is the standard for determining if or not ESCs/ESCR is/are not needed?

The standard for determining if or not ESCs/ESCR is/are not needed will be not merely the potential but the complete actual cures/treatments developed through ASCR or any other research of all remaining diseases/disorders for which there are currently no cures/treatments; when all such cures/treatments are developed, by non-ESC research, then ESCR will have been determined to not be needed/necessary and can be terminated.

What are the standards for the morality of ESCR?

1. The first standard for the morality of ESCR is the priority of the living/born over/before the unborn.

2. The second standard of morality for ESCR will be to refuse to injure the disabled who could benefit from ESCR by terminating it before the standard for determining if or not ESCR is needed is met.

Standards force us to think when we create them, and then they function to guide us once we have created them. And if we do not have them, then the lack of them shows weaknesses in our thinking and in our arguments.