Declaring that "life is a creation, not a commodity," President Bush on Wednesday called on the Senate to pass legislation banning all human-embryo cloning. "Advances in biomedical technology must never come at the expense of human conscience," Bush told a gathering of cloning opponents invited to the White House's gilded East Room for the speech. His remarks follow the publication of a letter signed by 40 Nobel laureates advocating therapeutic cloning and warning that the legislation at issue would ill-effect scientific research in the United States. "We decided to speak out to clear up the confusion that has arisen about this issue. Cloning humans and `therapeutic cloning' (or nuclear transplantation technology) are fundamentally different," said Nobel Prize winner Paul Berg. "The cloning of a human being should be prohibited. Nuclear transplantation technology, on the other hand, is meant to produce stem cells, not babies."
04-11-02, 06:49 PM
That a president who fawns to the religious right puts the kibosh on cloning is hardly surprising.
On the whole I agree with the notion that scientific research shouldn't be hobbled in this way. Still, I don't think our country or perhaps even the human species is prepared for the ethical dilemmas that cloning could bring about.
I'm not convinced we're wise enough to deal with the implications of gunpowder, but here we are.
Our PM, John Howard, finally did something right. He is allowing stem cell research using the left-over embryos from IVF storage batches, which would otherwise be simply chucked out in the garbage. Although I would not be surprised if he pulled this just because our more powerful allies "suggested" he should.
04-12-02, 05:48 AM
I agree adam. I think its ok if they were going to be destroyed anyway (still am not sure on MAKING them for that purpose). I think that if you clone an adults DNA to make them a new perfectly suited heart then thats a good thing (know this is long way down the track).
However human cloning is WRONG and we MUST never go down that track.
Didn't Clinton take some heat from the commercial echelon of the right wing over his ban on cloning?
04-12-02, 08:19 AM
However human cloning is WRONG...Why? Let me address a few of the myriad objections I have heard while discussing this issue.
Cloning does not necessarily present any ethical problems. Clones are simply people. We don't wonder about whether children produced through in vitro fertilization have souls, do we? Anyone who gives the matter a little thought and understands what cloning really is would realize that clones are people.
You won’t be able to kill your identical twin and harvest their organs, just because they have the same DNA as you. If you die, your identical twin will not become legally you.
Every clone will still have to be gestated in a human surrogate mother, will still have to be raised and educated by human parents (of whatever genetic relationship). Who is the clone's parent? Whoever caused the clone to be produced of course. Right now two people can take donated sperm and donated eggs, fertilize the eggs in vitro, implant the embryo in a surrogate mother, and when the baby is born they are legally considered the parents of the baby. A cloned baby wouldn't have "No Parents"; the baby would have the parents who created the baby. And if the parents are unfit parents, then the baby should be taken away from those unfit parents, their parental rights should be terminated, and the baby put in foster care until the baby is adopted, then the adoptive parents would be the baby's parents.
Parenting is not a matter of genetics; it is a matter of actions.
Often people somehow have the idea that clones will be grown in some type of vats or uterine replicators. While we may someday develop uterine replicators, that has nothing to do with cloning. Whatever reproductive technology we have, it can be applied just as easily to regular babies as to clone babies.
Similarly, we can't force-grow any sort of babies into adulthood, let alone clone babies. And if we could force-grow babies, the morality of such action would have to be considered independently of cloning. One has nothing to do with the other.
Now, how about the notion that we grow clones, but somehow prevent the formation of their brains. No. First of all, think about how this would work. You are going to have to find a surrogate mother for this headless baby. There are very few women who are willing to be surrogate mothers, I doubt you are going to find many who are willing to gestate a THING rather than a baby. Then the headless baby is born. With no higher brain functions, the baby is going to have to be in an intensive care unit the minute it is born. Who pays for this care? This baby will stay in intensive care for the rest of its life, unless you are planning on killing it and harvesting the organs right away.
And of course, most of the organs aren't going to be fully developed; they are going to be baby organs. If you need a heart transplant, you are going to have to wait until the baby is at least 10 years old before the heart will be large enough. Where are you going to find a doctor and an intensive care unit willing to perform this barbaric and disgusting practice of keeping a brain-dead baby alive for years so that you can cut it up like a trout?
That being said, at the present time cloning a human baby would be immoral only because the techniques are still extremely unreliable. Any doctor who created a cloned human baby should be disbarred, because it is too dangerous. When cloning techniques and cloning safety is well worked out for animals then we consider the essential moral questions of cloning.
And there really aren't any. Assuming that one finds in vitro fertilization itself to be moral, then cloning itself is moral, in and of itself. Cloning could conceivably be used for immoral purposes, like creating an army of brainwashed clone slaves. But the crime wouldn't be the cloning; it would be the brainwashing and enslaving. We already have laws against slavery. We already have laws that take children away from unfit parents and allow them to be adopted by fit parents.
Cloning presents no new ethical problems.
04-12-02, 10:36 AM
Originally posted by Xev
Stupid fucking twat. I've lost all respect for him.
What, just NOW? You had some to begin with? Good lord, WHY?