An approach to the ethics of cloning humans via an examination of the ethical issues pertaining to the use of any tool
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (1):17-32 (1999)
Those procedures which, at some future date, could constitute the operations resulting in the cloning of a human being are defined as a tool. As humans have been using tools for some two million years, sets of rules or ethics have been devised to make sure that tools are used to promote the maximum benefit and cause the minimum harm. It would, therefore, seem appropriate to consider the human cloning process as one such tool and approach the ethical issues which might govern its use in a manner which has been informed by how we have approached similar instances of new tool development. In this we can be guided by a range of thought experiments and practical considerations. When we combine these two facilities we may conclude that there are some benefits to be gained by the use of the human cloning tool, while there are other aspects of the use of the tool that need to be carefully controlled and regulated. An outline of a pragmatic approach to the initial uses of the tool is described.
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