Sunday, November 11, 2007

To Clone or Not to Clone?

The United Nations University has released a new report recommending a global policy on human cloning. In the document, "Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable: Future Options for UN Governance," the answer is NO, although perhaps with some narrowly defined medical or "theraputic" exceptions. The authors wrote that, among other aspects of this complex issue, "It is clear that any debate on human dignity needs to separate the various elements of the debate in order to consider whether opposition to cloning stems from concern for human dignity or respect for divine dignity.” The whole report defies thorough summary in this space, but it recommends an international agreement to ban most human cloning.
COMMENT: This seems a fairly sensible approach, but frankly, I doubt anything is going to stop human cloning from happening sometime in the next decade. That's not to say it's a good thing. It sounds naive or fuzzy or something to say that there are cases where we shouldn't take a scientific step, even if the reasons are good, but that's what I think in this case. THere are things humanity should stay away from, not just because of eithical or religious qualms but because we have no idea what the long-term effects on human society will be.

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