Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):26-30 (2016)

Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham
[Selected as EDITOR'S CHOICE] Background: Extant surveys of people’s attitudes toward human reproductive cloning focus on moral judgments alone, not emotional reactions or sentiments. This is especially important given that some (esp. Leon Kass) have argued against such cloning on the grounds that it engenders widespread negative emotions, like disgust, that provide a moral guide. Objective: To provide some data on emotional reactions to human cloning, with a focus on repugnance, given its prominence in the literature. Methods: This brief mixed-method study measures the self-reported attitudes and emotions (positive or negative) toward cloning from a sample of participants in the United States. Results: Most participants condemned cloning as immoral and said it should be illegal. The most commonly reported positive sentiment was by far interest/curiosity. Negative emotions were much more varied, but anxiety was the most common. Only about a third of participants selected disgust or repugnance as something they felt and an even smaller portion had this emotion come to mind prior to seeing a list of options. Conclusions: Participants felt primarily interested and anxious about human reproductive cloning. They did not primarily feel disgust or repugnance. This provides initial empirical evidence that such a reaction is not appropriately widespread.
Keywords sentiments  repugnance  survey  Kass  bioconservative
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2015-102738
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Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
Repugnance as Performance Error: The Role of Disgust in Bioethical Intuitions.Joshua May - 2016 - In Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford University Press. pp. 43-57.
I Eat, Therefore I Am: Disgust and the Intersection of Food and Identity.Daniel Kelly & Nicolae Morar - 2018 - In Tyler Doggett, Anne Barnhill & Mark Budolfson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 637 - 657.

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