Honors Theses

Publication Date

Spring 4-2021


Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are cells derived from 5-day human embryos and are self-renewing cell lines that change into any type of cell in the body, a trait called pluripotency. hESCs have almost unlimited clinical and medical research potential. Despite the great therapeutic promise of hESC research, it comes with a controversial ethical debate due to its involvement with the destruction of the human embryo. The central argument revolves around the question of whether or not these human embryos should be ascribed equal moral status to fully developed humans. This thesis aims to analyze the origin and advancements of human embryonic stem cells, as well as philosophical, ethical, sociocultural, and political aspects. The analysis will include an investigation of the many underlying attributes of an individual that affect their views on hESC research and two specific nations that have hESC policies that conflict with their religious and cultural views.

Faculty Advisor

Nick Ragsdale

Document Type

Honors Thesis



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