The Korean courts ruled that embryos less than 14 days from insemination are not human beings and therefore they have no legal rights. They are potential humans but they do not have independent humanity. Thus, the door is open to using the embryos for research such as stem cell investigation. original source web site down (broke link which seemed to be malware according to Google – sorry).
The Ministry of Health and Welfare as well as ministries of justice and education, science and technology said in the public hearing that embryos should be respected as something that could “become human” but should not be given full human status.
I am sure that this ruling will not please everyone.
- I think that everyone should know that, at least in the US, embryos cannot be used without specific permission from the patients who own the embryos.
- So, in this situation, if one did not believe in the ruling, then one could choose not to donate the embryos for research.
- I have a number of patients who would like to donate for research and particularly for stem cell research but legal restrictions prevent that choice.
- In my experience, the couples who would donate for research would NOT donate the embryos for others to make a baby and therefore they discard the embryos as their only solution.