After 40 years of abiding by an international guideline that barred human embryo research beyond day 14 of embryonic development, many scientists are now challenging this limit due to technological advances suggesting that embryos and cell-based models of embryos can be cultured to later points in early development. Some scholars have questioned the long-held belief that research beyond 14 days is unethical and have begun proposing alternative guidelines for research. In this paper, we examine a proposal for new human embryo and embryoid guidelines by reviewing the history of the 14-day limit and emerging areas of research that are impacted by these guidelines. We then show how social and political philosophy, metaphysics, and ethics are central to interpreting and applying these new recommendations or developing alternatives. Before conducting any research beyond day 14, scientists must develop clear, thoughtful, and culturally sensitive guidelines that include limitations and oversight procedures to ensure that science responds to societal needs and values.
Read the full article in the International Journal of Chinese & Comparative Philosophy of Medicine.