The news this morning is full of reaction to the announcement made over the weekend that a company in New England has succeeded in cloning a human embryo…and everyone with a media voice hates it.
I can see that a new way of bringing human beings into existance may be of questionable value in this age of over-population and underproduction. But how many adult human clones are likely to be walking around the streets, cluttering up the scenery? Practically none, as I understand it.
I can see that individuals with rigid thought processes are wary of any kind of striking, flambouyant changes in the world. But does this make changes, new technology immoral?
As I understand it, the company that produced the clone hopes to use the process for growing stem cells, so useful in medical research. This would entail "harvesting"; that is, cutting the embryo open and removing the useful cells in the VERY EARLIEST stage of development before the stem cells give birth to more specialized cells. Therefore, the embryo would die long, long before it could feel pain ot have any hint of consciousness.
And the stem cells thus obtained would be used for medical research necessary to such projects as curing Alzheimer's Disease and perhaps cancer, which kill a few million fully adult and fully sentient humans annually. This is bad?
I'm sure that there must be real people out there somewhere who oppose human cloning of embryos. Could you please explain to me just why?
Welcome. I agree. Keep this research that will change life as we know it going full steam ahead. I’d love to have an unlimited supply of organs cloned from my own cells. I don’t think they’ll need to make a whole body to do it eventually. They are getting close to the point where they can repair the damage caused by many different diseases. Don’t slow down now.
People are afraid of the Clone in a Vat problems, and I don’t think that is anyones plan right now anyway. I give no merit to the “clones don’t have a soul” argument, nor the “It’s not Gods will” sentiments. Either way, I don’t see that they can stop it. The companys will just find a country that does allow these things to set up shop in. Theres way too much potential money to be gained. When they come up with the Youth Treatment they’ll make billions. Stopping the research with legislation would be the dumbest move our government could make right now. When oh when will they learn that prohibition never works.
So I’m new here, Sterra. It must happen to everyone once. I just posted a short bio in my Profile so I’m not quite as anonymous. Any other problems you have with my status, address to the SysAdmin. =0)
I think the idea is, and this goes back to the abortion question that’s been debated to death, for those who oppose cloning embryos to get stem cells, after you clone the embryo, thae embryo becomes, in some people’s eyes, a person, which it is immoral to kill.
Boy, I hated that quote when I first read it. So much for the cattle industry… or heck, any sort of farming.
We should not grow life to destroy it, indeed.
What Bush seems to be saying is that by “life” he means “human life”- and I refuse to believe that a bundle of embryonic cells is “human”. I’m all for human cloning- and I bet Bush will be, too, when it gives him a new liver.
I think “cutting open” may even overstate the case a bit. My understanding is that stem-cell harvesting at this stage does not involve doing something like organ-harvesting from a little teeny homunculus like the ones we’re all familiar with from those “Miracle of Birth” videos; rather, the embryo at this stage is a little formless cluster of cells, which cluster would be broken up to harvest the stem cells for research or treatment purposes.
You mean they’ll have a will or something along the lines of, “I, John Doe, being of sound mind and body, hereby bequeath upon my death all my worldly goods, including my controlling majority of the voting stock of Doecorp Enterprises, to John Doe II”?
Yeah, allowing people to leave their property to their close genetic relatives would prove utterly ruinous to society as we know it, no doubt about it.
I’m willing to bet Sterra was not taking a shot, but pointing out that if she was able to read the post, then obviously the post count should have been at least one, and not zero. And the member status should also have been defined.
I have no problem with harvesting stem cells from first stages of the human embryo. But I feel that this may be seen as a foot in the door for future, and bigger cloneing of humans. By bigger I mean a living breathing human. IMO that should be avoided at all costs.
Why do you think that it should be avoided at all costs? Most everything I read in the press on this subject always say there are big ethical problems with cloning but then don’t really go on to discuss them.
Just from my own standpoint right now the biggest problem is that the legal standing of the children created is murky. Should they be treated as orphans and the company as an orphanage?
Hey, if you do at some point produce, via cloning, a fully developed “living, breathing human” (a viable infant)… then s/he will be a PERSON endowed with ALL HUMAN RIGHTS including the right to NOT be used as a spare part source or chattel slave, the right to be protected and educated during infancy and youth, and the right to decide independently, upon reaching age of adulthood, if s/he wants anything to do with whatever the “parent” intended.
Or at least, we should expect and demand that this be so …
As to this particular case… Somehow I got the impression that cells from embryos were cloned to form 2nd-Gen cell-clusters. If so, with the necessary refinements in technique, this could be achieved without damaging the embryo.
And as to the Prez’s quote, I just reiterate what I pointed out in another thread elsewhere, this is what happens when Dubs is forced to talk about issues out of his comfort zone. When rallying the masses to a quest to stamp out terrorism and get themselves back together after national trauma: actually quite good. When discussing a highly technical issue (that hardly anyone really understands) made controversial by moral implications: let us cringe. Good call, Lightnin’, on a policy of REAL sanctity-of-life…
So, if a woman terminates her pregnancy within a few days of conception, she should be prosecuted for first-degree murder, the same as if she killed her ten-year-old child (or hired a hitman to kill her ten-year-old child) and, upon conviction, should be sentenced to a lengthy prison term–probably life–or possibly even executed?
That’s probably the biggest issue that would need to be legally addressed (and which just outlawing cloning would do nothing to address in the event someone does actually bring a cloned human to full term). I certainly don’t see how a private for-profit corporation can be a child’s “parent”. I’d say if Dr. von Frankenstein at CloneCo, Inc. clones himself, well, congratulations, Doctor, you’re now a daddy–and subject to all the laws on parental neglect, child abuse, etc. If Dr. von Frankenstein wishes to voluntarily terminate his parental rights and give up his newborn son for adoption, he may do so, the same as any other parent, but of course the adopting parent would have to be another person–and by that, I mean an actual human being, not a legal fiction like a corporation. That person would then become legally responsible for the welfare of the child, with all the rights and responsibilities that implies.
If someone contracts with Dr. von Frankenstein and CloneCo, Inc. to have themselves cloned, then I’d say the the person being cloned would be the legal parent, and Dr. von Frankenstein would just be a high-tech OB/GYN.
If Dr. von Frankenstein makes a cloned baby using someone else’s DNA, without that person’s knowledge, it could get murkier. I’d probably be willing to have the Doctor tossed in the slammer for something like that; and I guess whoever had been surreptitiously cloned could assume parental rights or waive them and put the child up for adoption. Sort of “genetic rape”, and the child would be treated the same as any other child born of rape–it could be aborted in the early stages of development; otherwise, someone’s going to have to raise the poor little guy.