There is a fundamental standard referred to in the debate surrounding the ban on instrumentalisation which maintains that awarding full rights of protection to a human embryo is ethically justified on the grounds that a human being is a self-determining organism which may not be manipulated or even destroyed for the purposes of others. Embryos are considered to belong to the sphere of living organisms in need of special protection either on account of their belonging to the human species or because they are living organisms with the potential for self-determination. In ethical discussions, the instrumentalisation ban plays a prominent role insofar as it is closely linked to determining the moral status of a human embryo.

For examples of this discussion see: 

Darbrock, Peter / Ried, Jens (Hg.) (2005): Therapeutisches Klonen als Herausforderung für die Statusbestimmung des menschlichen Embryos. Paderborn: Mentis, 31–55.

Maio, Giovanni (2003): Ist die Instrumentalisierung des Embryos moralisch zu rechtfertigen? Zur Ethik der Forschung an embryonalen Stammzellen. In: Oehmichen, Manfred / Kaatsch, H.-J. / Rosenau, Hartmut (Hrsg.): Praktische Ethik in der Medizin, Lübeck: Schmidt-Römhild, 175–192.

Riedel, Ulrike (2003): Wider die Instrumentalisierung des Embryo. In: Goebel, Bernd / Kruip, Gerhard (Hrsg.): Gentechnologie und die Zukunft der Menschenwürde, Münster: LIT (Ethik in der Praxis: Kontroversen Bd. 10), 49–53.

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