Kantian + Utilitarian Views on
Use of Human Embryos
LI: I understand how to apply the two moral
viewpoints to use of human embryos.
Success: I have completed notes on applying Kantian
Ethics and Utilitarianism.
Kantian Ethics
Principles applied to the issue of
using human embryos.
• IVF – wrong because it is using
people as a means to an end.
• Saviour siblings – wrong because
it is using people as a means to an
• Research – wrong because it
cannot be a made a universal
maxim for all embryos otherwise
none of us would be here.
• If human embryos should
be used then all uses are
• Applying the categorical
imperative makes using
embryos right all the
• The universal maxim
means using human
embryos is right for all
people and all situations.
Principles applied to the use of
human embryos
• Greater good principle applied could be said to
encourage it – majority benefit if society rid of
debilitating diseases.
• Could argue against given the majority of embryos
destroyed in the process.
• Rule – apply certain rules such as HFE Act to regulate
and ensure only using embryos were the majority
• Act – can apply in individual actions and only take
the action that applies the Greater Good principle
e.g. using PGD to save the life of an older sibling as
opposed to using PGD to create a designer baby
which threatens the risk of eugenics.
Essay Questions
1. “ A religious person should never support
interference with human embryos.”
How far do you agree?
(10 AE)
2. Evaluate secular viewpoints on the uses of I.V.F.
(10 AE)
3. ‘Although Genetic Selection will improve our
health it will inevitably lead to choosing what
our children look like!’
Do you agree?
(10 AE)
Past Paper Questions 2011
1. What reasons might their be for selecting a
human embryo?
2. “Embryo selection is morally right in all
cases.” Evaluate at least one secular
viewpoint on this statement. 10AE

Kantian + Utilitarian Views on Use of Human Embryos