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The Debate Concerning Stem Cell Research

Over the past few decades, the subject of stem cell research has been the topic of debates around the world. In the blink of an eye, clones, perfect children, and immortality are no longer a myth told by elders around campfires. Through various techniques, scientists are able to better the lives of those living, but at what cost? In their articles “Cloning Human Beings: An Assessment of Pro and Con,” by author Dan W. Brock; “The Ethical Implications of Guman Cloning,” by Michael J. Sandel; “Theriputic Human Cloning Is Ethical,” by Ian Wilmut and Roger Highfield; and various other articles, each author discusses his or her view on the morality of stem cell research and its use for human cloning. Kantian deontology is defined as treating the individual as more than a means for an end. (Hinman 23). In other words, people ought to act in a way as to not violate the individual’s rights and to treat him or her respectfully. Though the cost may be great, the use of human stem cell research in the growing world of science would be beneficial so long as certain moral guidelines were put in place to limit the abuse of technologies and only allow said procedures to take place when they do not violate the autonomy of a human being.

The use of stem cell research and cloning to personalize the medical world would allow doctors to more accurately treat sickness and disease in each individual. As World Health Organization introduces in their section on the justifications of nonreproductive cloning: “Scientists engaged in cloning for research argue that it presents a unique method for studying genetic changes in cells derived from patients suffering from such diseases as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes” (WHO 129). Gen…

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…oning Human Beings: An assessment of the ethical issues. Commissioned Paper.”, 1997. Web. 20 July 2011.

Häyry, M. “Considerable Life Extension and the Meaning of Life.” Raionality and the Genetic Challenge: Making People Better? Cambridge University Press (2007): 183-195. Print.

Hinman, Lawrence M. “Introduction: A Pluralistic Approach to Moral Theory.” Contemporary Moral Issues (2nd Ed.). Prentice-Hall, New York (1999): 17-28. Print

Sandel, Michael J. “The Ethical Implications of Human Cloning.” Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 40.2 (Spring 2005): 155-161. Print.

Wilmut, Ian and Highfield, Roger. “Therapeutic Human Cloning is Ethical.” Veiwpoint 2 in Biomedical Ethics (ed. Viqi Wagner). Greenhaven Press (2007): 162-166. Print.

World Health Organization. “A Dozen Questions (and Answers) on Human Cloning.”, 2009. Web. 20 July 2011.

Marxist Literary Criticism

While literary critics do attempt to elaborate or develop ideas articulated by Karl Marx, it is important and necessary to make a distinction between Marx’s specific socio-economic and political agenda and the body of literary theory which emerged years later. Marxist literary criticism proceeds from the fundamental philosophical assumption that “consciousness can never be anything else than conscious existence…Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life” (Marx 568-9). Marxist critics use this challenge to the notion of an innate, prefigured, individual human nature to reexamine the nature of creative or literary authority.

Power seems to reside outside or beyond the bounds of humanity. Rather than dipping into a world of universal forms or expressing a subjective interior, artists and their work are determined by the web of power relations in which they exist; literature is thus inescapably tethered to a continuum of socio-political concerns. Hegemony is the term most often used by Marxist critics to describe this continually renegotiat…

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