Human cloning: three mistakes and an alternative
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2002 June; 27(3): 319-337
The current debate on the ethics of cloning humans is both uninspired and uninspiring. In large measure this is because of mistakes that permeate the discourse, including the mistake of thinking that cloning technology is strictly a reproductive technology when it is used to create whole beings. As a result, the challenge this technology represents regarding our understanding of ourselves and the species to which we belong typically is inappropriately downplayed or exaggerated. This has meant that important (albeit disquieting) societal issues and species-type concerns have not been fully explored. This paper, intended as a corrective, suggests that we take an alternate view of human cloning as both an enhancement and a reproductive technology. This proposed shift in the framework for analysis counters the current narrow framing of the issues and introduces new questions about the prospect of modifying the species.
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