Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Illegal Beings

Farr Ago News is back online with news of an intriguing new publication: Illegal Beings: Human Clones and the Law by Kerry Lynn Macintosh. Macintosh, a law professor at Santa Clara University, argues that human reproductive cloning should be legalized. This argument flies in the face of conventional wisdom - even that offered by more liberal bioethicists and scientists - that while therapeutic cloning is a promising avenue of scientific pursuit, reproductive cloning is off limits.
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Anyone who has actually read the book is welcome to comment on the specifics. In the meantime while the book waits on my reading list, I'll add that I agree with Macintosh, at least in principle. Presuming that the science of reproductive cloning is brought up to a satisfactory standard of safety and predictability, no mean feat given the current state of cloning technology, the majority of ethical objections strike me as rooted in ignorance, fear of the unknown, and political-religious objections. What, I wonder, is the real difference between reproductive cloning now, and in vitro fertilization pre-Louise Brown?

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