Friday, December 27, 2002
I can't decide whether to hope this news is true or bogus: Scientist Claims to Produce Human Clone.
On the one hand, it would be very good for people to realize this is upon us. Then we might get some legislative action on the question.
On the other hand, this is upon us.
I want to stress, as I have in the past, that the primary reason to ban human cloning for reproductive purposes does not require any novel ethical concepts. The procedure is plainly far too dangerous to the infant. The incidence of birth defects in cloned animals is very high; as an example, many of them age prematurely, a terrible fate to doom a child to. We can disagree about whether, in theory, safe reproductive cloning would be a good thing or a bad thing, and whether cloning for research purposes is categorically wrong, perfectly OK, or somewhere in between. We can nonetheless agree that reproductive cloning should be illegal now for a very simple reason: it is a danger to the life and health of the human being brought to life in this manner. It is one thing to nurture and love a human being who suffers from genetic abnormalities. It is another to coutenance a form of medical intervention known to cause such abnormalities.