The Topsy-Turvy Cloning Law

Monash Bioethics Review 29 (3):1-18 (2011)
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Abstract

In debates about human cloning, a distinction is frequently drawn between therapeutic and reproductive uses of the technology. Naturally enough, this distinction influences the way that the law is framed. The general consensus is that therapeutic cloning is less morally problematic than reproductive cloning — one can hold this position while holding that both are morally unacceptable — and the law frequently leaves the way open for some cloning for the sake of research into new therapeutic techniques while banning it for reproductive purposes. We claim that the position adopted by the law has things the wrong way around: if we accept a moral distinction between therapeutic and reproductive cloning, there are actually more reasons to be morally worried about therapeutic cloning than about reproductive cloning. If cloning is the proper object of legal scrutiny, then, we ought to make sure that we are scrutinising the right kind of clone.

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Iain Brassington
University of Manchester

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