Moral status of brain organoids

Julian Koplin, Olivia Carter, Julian Savulescu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Brain organoid research raises ethical challenges not seen in other forms of stem cell research. Given that brain organoids recapitulate the development of the human brain, it is plausible that brain organoids could one day attain consciousness and perhaps even higher cognitive abilities. Brain organoid research therefore raises difficult questions about these organoids’ moral status-questions that currently fall outside the scope of existing regulations and guidelines. This chapter offers a novel moral framework for brain organoid research. It outlines the conditions under which brain organoids might attain moral status and explain what this means for the ethics of experimenting with these entities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Moral Status
EditorsSteve Clarke, Hazen Zohny, Julian Savulescu
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780191915208
ISBN (Print)9780192894076
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • brain organoids
  • cognition
  • moral status
  • regulation
  • research
  • stem cells

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