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Discussion 3 to Reflections on Ethics 13
On cloning

by Maarten van den Driest

Re:Reflection 13

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There are indeed grave ethical questions to be asked on the subject of human cloning.

None of them have to do with any practical matters such as legal parentage, status within the human race and other such folly. We think all these problems up ourselves instead of looking to a real solution for genuine problems.

I agree with JT that the as of yet low success rate is the main problem. Poor Dolly the sheep wasn't particularly healthy genetically speaking and it took some doing before she came into existence.

The problem is that you have to try before you find out. It would be fascinating to find out what happens to children who are raised in total isolation, say, by mechanical means. We would learn a lot probably but there is no way to ethically stage an experiment.

The number of badly handicapped foetuses that would result out of cloning experiments doesn't bear thinking of, let alone the ones that never made it to the foetus stage.

As I see no real practical reason for cloning anyway, my view would be to stop research in that direction. After all, who would want a clone of him or herself? For what reason?

The cloning of embryos for medical research, like stem cell research, and other related work is another matter entirely.