The Associated Press and NBC News reports that a group of scientists in a California lab have recently created embryonic clones of two men. The embryos were created in a lab using a donated human egg and DNA material from human skin cells. What’s the value of this new technology? According to the AP report,
“Scientists say stem cells from cloned embryos could provide a valuable tool for studying diseases, screening drugs and, perhaps someday, creating transplant material to treat conditions like diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.”
The ethical questions raised by this development are manifold. It is a staggering devaluing of human life. These human beings are being created with no biological fathers for the expressed purpose of mining them for spare parts. As one reader has commented, it’s hard to tell which is worse: cloning human beings in the first place or killing them after their creation.
This is chilling news indeed. More later.
Has anyone ever watched The Island? It deals with the moral and ethical ramifications of just such a thing as this. I recommend watching it.
Here is a link to the wiki.
I thought the Island could have been a whole lot better. It should have focused more on the story and the ramifications and implications that human cloning raises as well as the ethical question. Instead it focused its attention on the action sequences and the special effects. A big let down in my opinion. But yeah it is related to this issue.
Hmm. It really made me to think through the ethical and moral ramifications of cloning. I remember those issues really standing out to me when I watched it (moreso than the action) but maybe that is just the way I think (or what grabbed my attention).
To me there seems to be a double standard in how the cloned embryos are treated.
On the one hand the embryos they are destroyed at around 5 days – they are treated as if they were not really human beings and denied the right to life.
On the other hand, Dr Wood shows amazement as looks at his clone – treating it as looking at himself.
Why is the embryo special enough to inspire amazement, but not special enough to avoid being destroyed?