Words Count. How Interest in Stem Cells has Made the Embryo Available: A Look at the French Law of Bioethics
Title: Words Count. How Interest in Stem Cells has Made the Embryo Available: A Look at the French Law of Bioethics
Author: HENNETTE-VAUCHEZ, Stéphanie
Publisher: European University Institute
Series/Report no.: EUI LAW; 2008/19
This paper aims at demonstrating the manner in which the recent focus of the public and legislative debate in France on the issue of embryonic stem cells has contributed to silencing the previously strong opposition to any kind of embryonic research. After explaining what the legal state of affairs was subsequent to the 1994 law of bioethics as far as the embryo was concerned, the article presents and analyzes the new provisions of the 2004 law of bioethics. It then stresses all the “rhetoric tricks” that have made the 2004 legalization of research on embryos and embryonic stem cells possible (ambiguous legal provisions, strategic uses of scientific imagery, opportunistic changes in vocabulary…). Finally, it assesses the 2004 legislative construction as a compromise that embodies no particularly coherent axiological choice, thus as a fragile and unsettled agreement.
Subject: Bioethics; France; Embryonic research; Stem cells
Type of Access: openAccess