Our readings this week focus on the ethics and morality of cloning and embryonic stem cell research. Our first reading is written by President Bush’s Council on Bioethics consisting of 18 members in various disciplines from physicians to ethicists, where they weigh in cloning to produce children and biomedical research. The second reading is from Yitzchok Breitowitz, a Rabbi, who argues for two benefits of human cloning- one being “a response to infertility, and the other is a way to generate genetically compatible tissues for transplantation” (333). “Negotiating Life” was written by Barbara Prainsack, a political scientist currently on the National Bioethics Council advising the Austrian federal government, and delves into cloning in Israel.

The President’s Council on Bioethics came to a conclusive decision to ban cloning to produce children (spoiler!). This is a viewpoint that the majority of the American public holds and a priori for me prior to reading for this week. I wanted to stress on this spoiler, as this viewpoint is very different from the following readings and something I want readers to keep in mind as we all develop our opinions on this topic. The reasoning behind this assertion is that there are “high rates of morbidity and mortality in the cloning of other mammals” and thus the cloning process would be “extremely unsafe” (Kass, 2002). Even if the cloning of other mammals were to be perfected, it would be not only difficult but also unethical to determine whether or not “cloning-to-produce children can become safe, now or in the future” (Kass, 2002). If you consider the fact that humans share the majority of their genome with other mammals and the fact that we already engage in embryonic stem cell research, would it really be “unsafe” to clone humans if we perfected the practice in other mammals? Where do we draw the line?

Cloning to produce children would diminish the uniqueness among all people and could motivate the discrimination of clones. I see this in another light, as cloning could motivate the discrimination of people born normally if these clones were able to undergo “beneficial” genetic modifications (because why not, cloning is already astronomically expensive, might as well get a “better” clone). Clones could receive a decreased quality of life, as they are burdened by expectations or mistakes in the cloning process. They could also be exploited as test subjects, not unlike the way we experiment on rats (Kass, 2002).

The Council was split on the policy recommendation for cloning for biomedical research, with the majority supporting a four-year ban and the minority supporting the regulation of cloned embryos for biomedical research. The reasoning behind the majority consensus was that it would provide time to develop a system of national regulation for embryonic stem cell research, while some believed that cloning for biomedical research could never be ethically pursued (too late now, I suppose) (Kass, 2002). The minority recommendation supports the regulation of cloned embryos, which allows for the research of cloning for biomedical purposes without significant delay, which would help benefit patients and families whose suffering such research may help alleviate (Kass, 2002).

I expected an article titled “What’s So Bad About Human Cloning?” to be a biased push towards the legalization of cloning for reproduction and research. Although the author seemed to favor cloning as opposed to a complete ban on it, he did provide evidence and anecdotes to support his claims. Breitowitz presented his reasoning in a logical fashion and I agreed with much of it. He starts off his article by touching on the different religious approaches to medicine, providing a clever analogy of how rejecting medical intervention because God will heal me is like rejecting food because God will feed me (Breitowitz , 328-329). This reminded me of Tom Cruise in the movie A Few Good Men, where he rebuttals the claim that the Marines don’t practice “Code Reds” because of it not written in the manual by asking if Marines eat at all because the mess hall was also not in the manual. Breitowitz adds that we as humans are created in the image of God (326) and that “wisdom and skill and knowledge” are gifts that God provides us (328) to develop not only solutions for our problems but also to fulfill our Commandments (330).

The Rabbi then moves on to reproductive cloning, which he seems to be a fan of. After glossing over the Catholic Church’s position on the topic, he moves on to a hypothetical scenario where cloning could provide a child for a man who is incapable of producing sperm and how it could provide a child that is on some level a genetic product of both the mother and the father (Breitowitz, 331). In addition, he touches on “cloning” in the instance of using a stem cell to regenerate tissues for transplant, all of which I agree with. I don’t agree with his follow up point that cloning a child with even a “primary purpose” to save another child’s life is not immoral and that there is a “mitzvah for one child” to save another’s life (Breitowitz, 332). Creating another life for the sole purpose of helping a life survive is not devoting love and affection for the cloned child-it’s using a person just like how one would use a machine. I also find it contradictive that Breitowitz mentions Kant and how he believes that “it is not moral to use one human being as a guinea pig for the potential benefit of another human being” when he claims that it is moral to have or clone a child for the primary purpose of harvesting their bone marrow, albeit to save a life (335). That’s my opinion, what did y’all think about Breitowitz’s claim here? Tying this into the Kass reading, how and where do we draw the line for cloning to benefit our own lives? Will we be able to raise these clones as children or will we just see them as a method to save ourselves (donation of a kidney, bone marrow, maybe even heart transplants!)?

Breitowitz raises the question of accessibility even if cloning was made commercially available with the added question of possible eugenics. Who would get access to this technology-would it be privatized or run by the government? If you could have genetic manipulation during cloning, would these children be superior to “normal” egg and sperm children? He also touches on the morality of cloning, as there is a psychological burden to being a clone. Although there are such things as epigenetics that influence the development of a clone, they may still feel that they are living a life that has been already lived (Breitowitz, 336). The psychological burden reminds me of Jerome in the movie Gattaca, who was designed to be the best human but just wasn’t. In addition, the clone may feel disconnected from their parents and have no genetic diversity. Do you guys think that clones will have this psychological burden, or will they go on to become their own people?

After brief introductions on regulations and ethical considerations on cloning, Barbara Prainsack dives into the Jewish interpretations of the Bible and how those interpretations shape viewpoints on reproductive technologies, including IVF and cloning. Prainsack also notes that the debate in Western countries is partially due to bad terminology, as her interview with a Rabbi revealed that “the chances for viability of an ‘embryo’ created through research cloning are close to zero” and that it would be misleading to call that an embryo at all (183). This is supported by four major assertions. First, embryos outside of the uterus are not regarded as human life and thus don’t deserve the same levels of protection as humans enjoy (Prainsack, 181). This would explain the viewpoints of adultery we discussed last week, where some Rabbis viewed that an egg fertilized outside of the uterus would not be considered adultery. Secondly, human life is given priority over human life development, which is very different from the view of the Catholic Church in Donum Vitae (Prainsack, 181). Third, altering God’s creation in a responsible manner is viewed as a virtue as opposed to a sin (Prainsack, 181). Lastly, procreation is regarded as binding for male Jews (Prainsack, 181).  How did y’all interpret these viewpoints? Do they hold merit and if not, why not? Overall, I found Prainsack to not delve into her own viewpoints on the issues that she tackles, but rather providing the viewpoints of the people she interviewed. Whether or not she simply used excerpts from interviews to convey her own viewpoints, I’m not too sure about. What’s certain is that she provides considerations on cloning from the Jewish perspective. In terms of cloning itself, it seems that the general consensus is that it is morally permissible.

The current problems with cloning itself due to potential implications and unsafe procedures is the main reason why there is a ban on human cloning. This follows in line with Rabbi Breitowitz’s train of thought, in that “God creates something out of nothing and humans create something out of something”, which is different from the Catholic Church’s view that humans shouldn’t interfere with the “natural” process of procreation (Prainsack, 183). Like we’ve touched on many times in class, Orthodox Jews focus on the legal portions of the Bible as opposed to drawing on interpretations (Prainsack, 174). Therefore, the ban on human reproductive cloning for this time being focuses on unsafe procedures and unawareness of potential implications, which would cause too much collateral damage for a reproductive technology whose consequences are not fully grasped (Prainsack, 182).

If I could use one quote from the passage to describe this reading, it would be this:

“Cloning per se did not pose any problems; the only problem was with scientific experimentation on humans. Since Israel had introduced consistent guidelines concerning experimentation on human beings as well as on animals, the committee concluded there was no need for any new law” (Prainsack, 191).

It seems that the limitations and concerns on human cloning are more rooted in the preservation of human and cultural identity. For me, it almost seems that the treatment of cloned individuals is foundational in the controversy surrounding human cloning.

I found it curious that there is a “halachic prohibition to use sperm for other than procreation purposes” but there was no such prohibition on ova-in fact, “surplus IVF embryos and embryos created through somatic cell nuclear transfer for research purposes is ethically permissible” (Prainsack, 181). Why do we have this difference, and why would it be ethically permissible to even use more embryos than necessary for the purposes of research? I personally found this paragraph very intriguing and am curious about the discussion in class related to this topic (maybe?).

References Cited:

Leon R. Kass, Human Cloning and Human Dignity: The Report of the President’s Council on Bioethics. (2002).

 Yitzchok Breitowitz, “What’s So Bad about Human Cloning?” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal (2004): 325-341.

Barbara Prainsack, “Negotiating Life: The Regulation of Human Cloning and

Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Israel.” Social Studies of Science 2006: 173-205.

13 Replies to “Cloning”

  1. Thanks for a great post, Jeffrey. I thought that you posed many thought-provoking questions and analyzed the readings very well. I also enjoyed reading Breitowitz’s article because not only did it incorporate Jewish views on cloning, but it provided an alternate perspective on religious thinking and cloning. As you mentioned, I thought it was clever of him to make the analogy about medical intervention and the resources that God provides to humanity. A particular quote that I thought reflected this well is: “God left the world in a state of imperfection so that we become His partners” (Breitowitz 327). This quote provides an argument for advancements in science, specifically cloning. The world was created imperfect and science is a way that we can become “like God.”

    Furthermore, another point that Breitowitz discusses is the psychological toll that clones may face. I think that clones would definitely have a form of a psychological burden from both their families and society. I think that since cloning already has a negative connotation to it, humans made through cloning will be greatly stigmatized in society. This stigma will greatly influence their mental health and those of their parents and the scientists who performed the procedure. Additionally, if the clones were made just for organs or to live out the life that his/her parent couldn’t then they could feel pressure from their families to provide in ways that may be too emotionally draining. Clones may struggle to form their identity and be accepted into society, which can cause a psychological burden. For these reasons, I think that there does need to be much discussion on the cloning of humans because of the possible effects that the clone could suffer.

  2. Hi Jeffrey,

    Thank you for a very thorough post. You pose a lot of questions that are difficult to think about and answer – partly because some of them cannot yet be answered with what we know and accept today. I would agree with some of your closing statements that human cloning is “rooted in the preservation of human and cultural identity,” and I would personally further your following sentiment that the “treatment of closed individuals is foundational in the controversy surrounding human cloning” to specify treatment in the perspective of kinship relations. The ability to view clones as either children in their own rights or means to a different goal, such as the well-being of others, may be fundamentally rooted in practices of kinship and do not have a universal standard.

    This view, however is incredibly idealistic. Breitowitz notes with stark reality that cloning and selecting genes is “[…] a step toward a philosophy that values certain types of genotypes, certain types of lives, certain types of genetic structures more highly than others” (Breitowitz 2002, 335). Whether or not strong conceptions of kinship might be able to mitigate potential social tension and conceptions towards clones depends on cooperation and societal acceptance. Kinship might also provide an explanation for the contradiction between Kant and Breitowitz you mentioned. Though Breitowitz’s and Kant’s ideas seem to disagree, a way to understand their similarities might be through kinship. Kant cautions from using humans as simply physical objects without further rights, while Breitowitz is careful to consider multiple consequences of cloning and using the human body for ulterior purposes. Again, however, there is a fine line in these matters, as you mention. I hope we get the chance to discuss further in class. Thanks again!

  3. Thank you for your post. Well done. Gives a lot of insight to the main arguments. I too was very surprised after reading the title and then reading the article. I was fully expecting it to be a very complicated read with complex analogies and complicated logic layered on top of each other. However, this article was relatively simple and presented both sides of the issue very clearly and in a way that was easy to understand. While no piece of writing will be free from bias, Breitowitz did a phenomenal job allowing for both sides of the issue to be told. However one argument I found not so strong was the holocaust argument and how Jewish law would look favorably on cloning in this case. While the argument makes sense, I am not one who looks favorably on extreme circumstantial arguments that most likely will never come to fruition. Another argument I wasn’t a fan of was one against cloning, where he says “Are we going to talk about a disproportionate number of Michael Jordans in the world?” as well as a bunch of other hypothetical questions. It seems almost like a slippery slope argument where if one bad thing happens from cloning, all of these other may follow it. However, most of his other examples are pretty realistic. One thing that I kept thinking about while reading this article was how everything wrong with cloning was based off of hypotheticals and “what ifs”. Cloning is a relatively very new technology, so of course we are not going to know what affects it will have, and it is natural to have questions about its consequences, however, since there are no direct negatives from cloning, why not be open to it and regulate as it progresses. Outside of religious feelings, I see no other argument why cloning would be considered wrong until we let it play out.

    I think Maria’s point above is very true in the fact that cloning already has a negative connotation surrounding it when the issue is still very young. However, while I agree that clones would be initially stigmatized in society, there is always room for growth. First off, wouldn’t clones be kept in confidentiality? People would not be able to know they are clones unless told otherwise or if the clone itself was open to disclosing that information. Secondly, isn’t their an opportunity for clones to embrace the way they were created? It makes me think of the LBGTQ community and how they have struggled for acceptance in society and initially throughout history looked at as outside. Until we see how it unfolds, and there are know known or immediate impacts to society, I am all for it.

  4. Hi Jeffrey, Thanks for sharing your summary and thoughts on the readings. I’d like to respond to parts of your post in parts:

    You wrote, “Cloning to produce children would diminish the uniqueness among all people and could motivate the discrimination of clones.” Later, you wrote, “Although there are such things as epigenetics that influence the development of a clone, they may still feel that they are living a life that has been already lived (Breitowitz, 336).” Personally, I think epigenetics and consideration of environmental, subjective matters clears up the potential “problem” of diminishing uniqueness. Side thought: It feels very American to emphasize uniqueness/standing out as an individual. Some other cultures and societies prefer people fit in or blend in with the community. Whether diminishing uniqueness is even a problem is an entirely different conversation. I digress, but with the idea that epigenetics and environment has the potential to change who we are, we could argue that that makes us unique. Even with cloning and copying the same genetic makeup of a person, one could be unique. I highly recommend the novel The House of the Scorpion, which tells the tale of a clone who is not like his “original copy” of a person. I won’t say more about the book as to not spoil the story for those who might want to read it.

    You wrote that “Breitowitz adds that we as humans are created in the image of God (326) and that “wisdom and skill and knowledge” are gifts that God provides us (328) to develop not only solutions for our problems but also to fulfill our Commandments (330).” I really appreciated Breitowitz’s providing multiple perspectives, and I agree that this is a compelling way of thinking about God, gifts of skill and knowledge, and action. To that end, I want to raise caution for “fulfilling our Commandments” because while The Ten Commandments are well-known by those who are religious and non-religious, it is important to recognize that there are many, many laws and imperatives in the Bible. The “Ten Commandments” were coined and distinguished by later editors, not the original writers. There may be other laws mentioned in the Bible that are lesser known but important to arguing for other perspectives for cloning.

    Where you wrote, “…the clone may feel disconnected from their parents and have no genetic diversity. Do you guys think that clones will have this psychological burden, or will they go on to become their own people?” My reaction lines up with that of Maria’s. I agree that the psychological state of the clone will be affected by societal norms and stigma.

  5. Thank you for the post! I appreciate the thought-provoking questions and how they challenged my initial reactions while reading the texts for this week’s class. I agree with your arguments about Breitowitz’s paper, and I also found it expanding of my personal opinions. One argument that was made that particularly stuck out to me was the consideration of nature and nurture. While you can theoretically completely genetically clone a human, you cannot recreate their life experiences and all of their other qualities that makes them, them. Breitowitz gives this a good amount of conversation in the paper, giving dramatic examples to exemplify that nurture and environment are half of the equation. I personally liked this argument because I feel as though when human cloning is discussed, it is often considered to be an exact clone of another human being, with identical mannerisms, interests, and careers, which is not at all the case. After all, a cloned Michael Jordan might not like basketball (338). Of course, this idea is a small factor in a debate that has many other influential ideas to consider, but I feel as though it is important to not omit the understanding of nature and nurture when discussing human cloning.

  6. Thank you all for the thought-provoking blog posts for the week!

    The three readings about human cloning really made me challenge my pre-existing opinions about the practice and think more critically about both sides of the issue. I have a few strong opinions regarding the Breitowitz article and the point that you make, Jeffery. I believe that the procreation of another child to help a child by “generating genetically compatible tissue” (Breitowitz, 333) is not morally impermissible. I don’t think that the second child is loved or cherished any less than the first child, or if that child is produced without these intentions. I agree with his viewpoints on this scenario for reproductive cloning as well as his views on the third use of reproductive cloning. Cloning a child who is dying or already died, but has DNA that is retrievable, is definitely where I draw the line. At that point, I feel as though producing another child organically is much more feasible, rather than having a clone of that child. It is much healthier to “rebuild” the life of the parents rather than dwell in the tragedy of the death of a child (Breitowitz, 333).

    Since one of the main premises in Judaism is about “being fruitful and multiplying” (Breitowitz, 327), the debate on reproductive cloning, as Prainsack mentions, is very nuanced. The emphasis on fertility is what drives the discourse on these ethical and moral dilemmas. It is this view that forms the basis of the argument that Prainsack makes regarding the goals and tools of cloning. I appreciate this idea that one should not moralize on the tools used to achieve certain goals, but that these tools must be used in order to advance our knowledge and research in this field. Having a more rational view on reproductive technologies is more critical than thinking of the moral implications of these technologies, as they can certainly do more good than harm in our society. God’s creations, as many would say, are not off-limits for improvements, and if that is something that cloning and other technologies can provide, then we should explore that realm.

  7. Hi Jeffery, thank you for summarizing all the readings so clearly. I liked how you brought up the opinion/decision on cloning from the President’s council text but also related it back to how you think the public feels. I disagree with a point brought up in the debate about how cloning is unsafe, because, as Breitowitz pointed out, many other reproductive techniques were not considered safe when they initially surfaced. Such techniques include IVF and surrogacy. I personally believe what makes people uncomfortable is the diminishing uniqueness that arises with cloning. I also agree that, as Breitowitz also pointed out, that being a clone would come with expectations on how the individual is supposed to turn out. A person must be cloned with intentions that they will possess some similarity to whoever they were cloned from, which strip away a person from their individuality. I think an exception to the case would be if an infertile couple wanted to have a biological child, but even in that case the child would inevitably face psychological consequences because of how new cloning is as a reproductive technology.
    I understand how people could accept cloning for research reasons, but I think that once cloning for that reason becomes more widespread, many may want to take it a step further. As Dr. Seeman pointed out, many people across the world used to strongly oppose abortion, but has become much more acceptable, especially in western cultures. Although an uncomfortable thought, could cloning for reproductive purposes be on the same trajectory? The reading by Breitowitz highlighted at least two benefits for cloning that are worth discussing. The first is cloning as a solution for infertile couples. The second is being able to save the life of the original individual with compatible organ/tissue transplants. However a major negative that need to be considered is how cloning for the purpose of selecting “more ideal” individuals may be taken too far. Or cloning for the purpose of recreating a deceased individual. The later two reasons are less ethical and make me understand why the benefits of cloning do not add up to the possibility of the negatives.

  8. Hi Jeffrey,

    Thank you for a very well written and comprehensive blog post. Your question of “where do we draw the line?” got me thinking of how cloning is not only a political debate but also a moral one. There are different understandings of morals, what they are, and how they should be followed based in religious forms. The way that I think of morals in human beings is that they are like self regulations. Humans have unchecked potential for creation and power through new science every day, yet we use religious and moral beliefs in order to regulate just how much power SHOULD we have. This is why I am intrigued with the Christian moral reasoning against cloning, because that would give us power akin to God, interfering with His creations. I have always been interested as to why we ask this question of ourselves. As you point out, Breitowitz explains that “wisdom and skill and knowledge” are gifts that God provides us (328) to develop not only solutions for our problems but also to fulfill our Commandments (330). In this way, is it a waste of potential to draw a line at all?

  9. Thank you for your post, Jeffrey!

    You thoroughly summed up these writings and raised some interesting, creative questions.

    I want to first address your question on the psychological effects a clone might experience. This question comes with a focus on the wellbeing and future of the clone as an individual. It is a shift from the concerns of these writings as it posits the importance of what is at stake directly on the individual, as well as placing the rights of a clone in the realm of all other humans. While I think this is important, it is interesting to consider what is really at stake for the topic of cloning. Cloning, as mentioned by Kass, questions the foundational assumptions that we make about humanity. The genetic assumptions of reproduction, the assumption of genetic uniqueness between the ovum and sperm donors and their offspring, and the nature of what defines a new human are all concerns that he addresses in his inquiry. The impacts of social and legal bias towards clones would certainly have a lasting impact on their psychological wellbeing and it seems as if this might go hand-in-hand with the psychological wellbeing of culture as a result of the introduction of clones. Issues of identity cause relations among humans to be further construed. In an interesting way, the issues of cloning mirror the issues frequently discussed concerning IVF. Considerations such as the inevitable research and experimentation done to fertilized embryos proves troubling for some people.

  10. I think it’s important to consider his preconceptions and the image that he had to uphold for his constituents. I think you made great points in your post, and I’m glad that you included additional resources to draw more information into the argument. I have to agree with you that cloning for reproduction would have unfathomable consequences. However, I do think that the right decision would have been the minority decision to regulate cloning carefully and use it to further scientific research.

    Breitowitz’s reading is quite interesting. Though he is a religious man, he supports reproductive cloning. I don’t agree with this, but it agrees with what we have seen so far in terms of Judaism’s commitment to furthering reproduction and its acceptance of ART. I do like that he questions the accessibility of cloning, as I also see it becoming entirely classist, with major differences between high-cost and low-cost (if even possible) cloning.

  11. Hi Jeffrey! Thanks for your summaries of this week’s readings. While reading your first section about the President’s Council, my mind immediately jumped to Prainsack’s discussion about how Christianity underscores many American positions– phrases like “dignity” and “nature” being thinly veiled religious expressions. Maybe I read into it too much, but I definitely saw this reflected repeatedly in the Council’s position. Their position of “we don’t know if this is safe and there’s no ethical way to determine if it is” seemed like a bit of a cop-out to me. I do not understand why using animal experimentation wasn’t really talked about as an avenue for developing safer cloning technologies– it was only used to reinforce the dangers. I would be curious to see what these representatives think in this day and age about cloning as our ability to manipulate the human genome is continually refined. What would they think about CRISPR technology? Is that equally unethical for moral reasons even if it is not as “dangerous” as cloning?

  12. HEY,

    I really appreciated the thought you put into this post. I wanted to address some of my own answers from the readings/experience to your questions.

    You posed “would it really be “unsafe” to clone humans if we perfected the practice in other mammals? Where do we draw the line?” Here I’m assuming by “unsafe” you mean dangerous to the lives of those reproduced through cloning. My answer is unwaveringly yes – the perfection of any technology requires trial and error and unlike clinical research, there is no way to gain consent from those beings brought into the world. While it is true that I and you and everyone on this Earth could not consent in advance to being born, it is different when you as a consciousness are machinated by means that put you into a different pool of probability and risk than your counterparts. If the tests of other mammals are any indication of perfecting human cloning will go, there will be a period of error that impose suffering onto a select group of people who are the “lab rats” of this perfecting process. This is a point brought up by Breitowitz, “it is not moral to use one human being as a guinea pig for the potential benefit of another human being,” and the President’s council.

    In the event that cloning has been perfected and the technology is available, I believe that it should be used (as the consequences are a sunk cost that should be repaired but not limitations for the present). Your question surrounding utilitarian uses of clones, “Will we be able to raise these clones as children or will we just see them as a method to save ourselves (donation of a kidney, bone marrow, maybe even heart transplants!)?” initially pointed me in the direction of Prainsack’s point: “Jewish Law does not prohibit having children for reasons other than fulfilling the divine commandment of procreation. For example, if a couple attempted to have a child in order to have it support them in their old age – a purely ‘selfish’ motive – this would not contradict Jewish Law.”

    People have varying motivations for having children that aren’t regulated by the government. If the technology is to be freely accessible and to service the desires of the people to reproduce, should the motive behind that reproduction matter? Is the motivation to have a continuation of your genetic line for the continuation of legacy/business/family not similar to the motivation to clone yourself to keep your own legacy continuing? Is the psychological pressures parents put onto their children not the same as the psychological pressures that could be put onto a clone, per Breitowitz’s argument? Opponents of gamete donation argue that IVF children deal with stigma and an “identity loss” because they aren’t from the traditional family unit, but nonetheless these arguments have been disproved/ignored. Arguments based in psychology seem to be more concerned with applying and maintaining the status quo to cloning – however, countless readings have highlighted the stable integration of reproductive technologies into society AND disproved arguments of the status quo such as surrogate mothers being unnatural women and IVF children being psychologically deprived.

    Ultimately, we won’t know the true consequences until the technology is actualized – all we can do is impose our current world onto the hypothetical future, and this course has taught me that projecting the present onto the future is not precise and oft an illegitimate argument based in cultural norms based in current paradigm.

    Thanks again!

  13. Thank you for your interesting blog post. I liked the background information from Bush’s presidency. I agreed with Eleni’s comment; it is often difficult to separate our personal biases, whether religious or political in nature, from our arguments even though we are raised in a culture that values secular arguments.

    The traditional Christian view on cloning is quite negative; these Christians tend to believe that human life and the purity of conception is violated by cloning. This is again seen as humans overstepping their bounds since reproduction is, as Donum Vitae stated, both a gift from God and a natural process. Cloning is viewed to alter the “natural” course of life. As we have seen with many other reproductive technologies, Jewish law seems to have an opposite viewpoint. In this culture, embryos outside of the womb are not considered human so therefore do not need protective laws.

    I also really liked Jeffrey’s blog post in particular: he brought up a great number of pertinent questions that show how truly complex the topic is. Leaving the usual question of “Where do we draw the line?” aside, we can also argue that cloning, unlike many of the other ARTs that we have discussed, is a procedure that we don’t yet know the consequences of, both biologically and socially. We have not yet perfected the procedure to ensure the safety of all parties involved, and we have a long way to go before cloning ever becomes a commonly used commercial option.

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