Aristotle and headless clones
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 2005; 26(4): 339-350
Cloned organisms can be genetically altered so that they do not exhibit higher brain functioning. This form of therapeutic cloning allows for genetically identical organs and tissues to be harvested from the clone for the use of the organism that is cloned. "Spare parts" cloning promises many opportunities for future medical advances. What is the ontological and ethical status of spare parts, headless clones? This paper attempts to answer this question from the perspective of Aristotle's view of the soul. Aristotle's metaphysics as applied to his view of biological essences generates an ethic that can contribute to moral reasoning regarding the use of headless spare parts clones. The task of this paper is to show the implications that Aristotle's view of the soul, if it is true, would have on the ethics of headless, spare parts cloning.
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