Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
  • Item
    Executions in the United States, 1608-2002
    (2013-11-13) Watt, Espy, M.
    This collection furnishes data on executions performed under civil authority in the United States between 1608 and 2002. The dataset describes each individual executed and the circumstances surrounding the crime for which the person was convicted. Variables include age, race, name, sex, and occupation of the offender, place, jurisdiction, date, and method of execution, and the crime for which the offender was executed. Also recorded are data on whether the only evidence for the execution was official records indicating that an individual (executioner or slave owner) was compensated for an execution.
  • Item
    Designer babies: choosing our children’s genes
    (2006-10-11) Steinbock, Bonnie
    The phrase “designer babies” refers to genetic interventions into pre-implantation embryos in the attempt to influence the traits the resulting children will have. At present, this is not possible, but many people are horrified by the mere thought that parents might want to choose their children’s genes, especially for non-disease traits. I want to argue that the objections are usually not well articulated, and that even when they are, it’s far from obvious that such interventions would be wrong.
  • Item
    Moral Status, Moral Value, and Human Embryos: Implications for Stem Cell Research
    (2007) Steinbock, Bonnie
    Human embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are of scientific and medical interest because of their ability to develop into different tissue types and because of their ability to be propagated for many generations in laboratory culture. Grown in a laboratory, they might one day be used in the treatment of degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. They could provide bone cells for the treatment of osteoporosis, eye cells for macular degeneration, blood cells for cancer, insulinproducing cells for diabetes, heart muscle cells for heart disease, nerve cells for spinal cord injury. The potential for benefit to so many people is a strong argument for doing—and funding—embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. Yet ESC research is very controversial because the derivation of ES cells—at least at the present time—destroys the embryo. Thus, the morality of ESC research depends primarily on the morality of destroying human embryos, raising the question of the moral status of the human embryo.
  • Item
    Payment for Egg Donation and Surrogacy
    (2004-09) Steinbock, Bonnie
    This article examines the ethics of egg donation. It begins by looking at objections to noncommercial gamete donation, and then takes up criticism of commercial egg donation. After discussing arguments based on concern for offspring, inequality, commodification, exploitation of donors, and threats to the family, I conclude that some payment to donors is ethically acceptable. Donors should not be paid for their eggs, but rather they should be compensated for the burdens of egg retrieval. Making the distinction between compensation for burdens and payment for a product has the advantages of limiting payment, not distinguishing between donors on the basis of their traits, and ensuring that donors are paid regardless of the number or quality of eggs retrieved.
  • Item
    The Morality of Killing Human Embryos
    (2006) Steinbock, Bonnie
    Embryonic stem cell research is morally and politically controversial because the process of deriving the embryonic stem (ES) cells kills embryos. If embryos are, as some would claim, human beings like you and me, then ES cell research is clearly impermissible. If, on the other hand, the blastocysts from which embryonic stem cells are derived are not yet human beings, but rather microscopic balls of undifferentiated cells, as others maintain, then ES cell research is probably morally permissible. Whether the research can be justified depends on such issues as its cost, chance of success, and numbers likely to benefit. But this is an issue for any research project, not just ES cell research. What makes the debate over ES cell research controversial is that it, like the debate over abortion, raises “questions that politicians cannot settle: when does human life begin, and what is the moral status of the human embryo?”1 This paper looks at several theories of moral status and their implications for embryo research.