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THE CLONING QUESTION: Would a cloned human embryo be a human life?
Just as Dolly the sheep started out as a cloned sheep embryo and had the full genetic code of a sheep, it is a scientific fact that a cloned human embryo would have the full genetic code of a human being. This being would not have the genetic code of a dog, cat, sheep or any other species other than Homo sapiens.
The question is not:
“Would a cloned human embryo be a human life?”
The question is:
“How would we treat this human life?”
Would we treat this human life with the respect we give to a member of the human family who deserves our protection, or would we treat this developing human life as an object or a commodity to be used and destroyed for scientific experiments?
Statement From I-SIS on Cloning
The following paragraphs are excerpts from a recent statement by the Institute of Science in Society (I-SIS), an international organization of 462 scientists from 57 countries, whose avowed concern is that science be ethically and efficiently used to serve mankind’s needs. Their website is: http://www.i-sis.org.uk
“The Risks of cancer, uncontrollable growth, genome instability and other hurdles make ES [embryonic stem] cells a bad investment in terms of finance as well as health benefits.”
Adult stem cells “are more likely to generate affordable therapies that can benefit everyone.”
“…it’s far from certain that cloning can do what it’s supposed to do, i.e., avoid rejection. Yet, many in Science advocate that we travel this convoluted path when we clearly have safer, less problematic, and already proven alternatives.”
“Scientists should stop manipulating public opinion to promote research that’s both morally and scientifically indefensible. At the same time governments need to invest our tax money in scientific research that can genuinely benefit the health of the nation, and not be misled by false promises of the next economic boom.”
Other Sites About Cloning
The following links will take you to articles about human cloning on the National Right to Life web site and provide you with information about cloning from other sites that are devoted to scientifically accurate information about cloning.
- NRLC update on human cloning and fetus farms, September 21, 2005
- Factsheet - "Artificial Wombs: From Embryo Farms to Fetus Farms" - September 14, 2005, click click here to download a PDF version of this document.
- “ U.S. House committee rejects amendment to erect barrier to human cloning in U.S. ” June 29, 2005
- NRLC statement on Senator Bill Frist's July 29, 2005, speech on embryonic stem cell research
- To learn about the plans of some biotech firms to patent human embryos, and legislation that deals with this issue, click here.
- Human Cloning Legislation in Congress: Misconceptions and Realities:
Updated September 13, 2005, this fact sheet refutes misconceptions about human cloning and cloning-related legislation in Congress. To view or download a PDF version of this document, click here.
- The National Catholic Bioethics Center: http://www.ncbcenter.org
- The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity http://www.cbhd.org