Author(s): Jaros?aw Merecki
Progress in contemporary medicine seems to be unveiling amazing prospects for the future of humanity. Research on human stem cells, which due to their totipotentiality (embryonic stem cells) and pluripotentiality (adult stem cells) may raise the possibility of recreating entire human organs, inspires a whole new vision of the world in which human organism could be recreated almost endlessly. This research, however, calls for some ethical reflection. While collecting stem cells from adults does not provoke moral reservations, the use of embryonic stem cells raises the question: can such procedures be morally justified? According to the principle of justice, one may never sacrifice a single human life for the sake of an advantage for many others. On the other hand we must not forget that contingency is and always will be the immutable dimension of human life on earth.