Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (1):43-54 (2006)

Authors
Donna Dickenson
Birkbeck, University of London
Abstract
Most opponents of somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryonic stem cell technologies base their arguments on the twin assertions that the embryo is either a human being or a potential human being, and that it is wrong to destroy a human being or potential human being in order to produce stem cell lines. Proponents’ justifications of stem cell research are more varied, but not enough to escape the charge of obsession with the status of the embryo. What unites the two warring sides in ‘the stem cell wars’ is that women are equally invisible to both: ‘the lady vanishes.’ Yet the most legitimate property in the body is that which women possess in their reproductive tissue and the products of their reproductive labour. By drawing on the accepted characterisation in the common law of property as a bundle of rights, and on a Hegelian model of contract as mutual recognition, we can lessen the impact of the tendency to regard women and their ova as merely receptacles and women’s reproductive labour as unimportant.
Keywords Embryo status  Stem cell research  Property in labour  Contract  Bundle of rights
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DOI 10.1007/s11673-006-9003-8
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Animal Eggs for Stem Cell Research: A Path Not Worth Taking.Françoise Baylis - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (12):18-32.
The Lady Vanishes: What’s Missing From the Stem Cell Debate.Donna L. Dickenson - 2006 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (1-2):43-54.
The Force of Dissimilar Analogies in Bioethics.Heidi Mertes & Guido Pennings - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (2):117-128.

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