Cloning is asexual reproduction in which an exact genetic copy of another plant, animal or human is made by fusing the DNA from an adult cell into a human egg from which the genetic material has been removed, causing it to divide and grow. By definition of the National Academy of Sciences, a clone is an exact genetic replica of another organism.
The development of human cloning will require the deliberate sacrifice of human embryos. This use of human life merely as a means to an end is morally unacceptable. There are also scientific reasons to oppose human cloning, such as the potential for mutation, transmission of mitochondrial diseases and the negative effects from the aging genetic material. In addition, societal reasons to be hesitant about include questions about parentage, lineage, family structure and the uniqueness of the individual.
Stem Cell Research
Stem cells are master cells in the body that can turn into many different types of specialized cells. They have the ability to divide for an indefinite period of time. Other cells cannot do this. For more research facts about stem cells, visit www.stemcellresearchfacts.org.
The field of stem cell research offers great promise for the advancement of medical science. Adult stem cells, which are derived from body tissues such as bone marrow, fat, heart, lunch, etc., are presently being used to treat a variety of illnesses. However, the isolation of human embryonic stem cells have raised moral concerns because current methods of procuring embryonic stem cells require the destruction of human life. Technology and research must not involve the abuse or destruction of human life.
The following information focuses on the latest information about the ethics of cloning and stem cell research:
- Statement on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing - Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture
- Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing - R. Henry Williams, M.D., F.A.C.P., M.A. (Ethics)
- A Moratorium on Heritable Human Genome Editing: Illusory or Real? - D. Joy Riley, MD, MA
- Miniature Human Brains: An Ethical Analysis Published in Gray Matters Spring 2014. Vol. 30:1 - William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD
- Can Artificial Techniques Supply Morally Neutral Human Embryos For Research? Published in Ethics & Medicine 2005; 21(2):73-88.- William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD and Nancy L. Jones, Ph.D
- Chinese Scientists are Building a Human Cloning Factory - includes an interview with David Prentice, PhD
- Dangers of "Therapeutic Cloning" and Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research
- Embryonic Stem Cells vs. Adult Stem Cells
- "Therapeutic Cloning" is Potentially Harmful to Women
- A Scientist Looks at Cloning - David Prentice, PhD
- Human Cloning: Is It Ethical and Necessary? - Sharon Quick, MD
- Problematic Portions of MASS HB2039 2005 Stem Cell/Cloning Bill - Sharon Quick, MD
- Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research is a Dead End - Sharon Quick, MD
- Stem Cell Research and Cloning: Science and Ethics - Sharon Quick, MD
- Oppose EHB 1268 - Sharon Quick, MD
- Oppose EHB 1268: Letter to Washington Legislators - Sharon Quick, MD
- Oppose EHB 1268: Letter to Senator Brown - Sharon Quick, MD
"Human cloning is deeply troubling to me, and to most Americans. Life is a creation, not a commodity. Our children are gifts to be loved and protected, not products to be designed and manufactured. Allowing cloning would be taking a significant step toward a society in which human beings are grown for spare body parts, and children are engineered to custom specifications; and that's just not acceptable."
—President George W. Bush
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